It’s December, and for most college students, you know what that means: it is finals season. After a strenuous semester of learning, here you are trying to relearn absolutely everything you thought you learned, within the span of a week. You know you’d rather be doing anything other than studying, and your favorite streaming service is only a click or an app away. It’s tempting to just watch TV instead while hoping your final exams take themselves. You should study, but you know yourself. The call of TV is too strong. So, here are five TV Shows that will hopefully inspire you to study when you’re finished with them.

To avoid getting addicted and binging several seasons’ worth of content (we need a healthy balance of distractions), this list is comprised of TV series with currently only 28 episodes or less.


One of the quintessential college shows, along with "Freaks and Geeks," "Undeclared" follows a bunch of college misfits who are just trying to figure out their lives. Whether you have your entire life planned out or have no idea what to major in as well, the amusing shenanigans of "Undeclared" are a welcome way to fill study breaks — but you can also use them as motivation to study your hardest. You’re just trying to figure out your life too, right?


A spinoff of the movie starring Bradley Cooper, "Limitless" the TV show depicts the story of a man who begins taking a new drug that enables him to use the entirety of his brain.

He becomes almost inconceivably smart and has perfect recall of his life. You may not have access to this mysterious drug, and therefore little hope of using 100 percent of your brainpower within twelve hours, but you don’t need a shortcut like Brian Finch does. You’re already smart enough to pass your exams, but Brian’s intelligence is inspiring when you begin thinking the same way he does while studying.

'Black Mirror'

"Black Mirror" technically has the most “seasons” on this list, but because they’re so short, "Black Mirror" only has a total of 13 episodes (with more on the way). This sci-fi anthology TV series is thrilling, mind-bending, and thought-provoking. If you’re looking for mindless entertainment, this isn’t it — but if you’re looking for something that makes you think and gets your brain’s pistons firing in new directions, then "Black Mirror" is the stimulation you need to ace your tests.

'This Is Us'

Randall, played by Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, has a great job and a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood. He studied intensely at Howard University to get where he is, and as he says to the character Deja, “You remember what I told you about working hard, all right? Big house. Fancy car.”

'The Magicians'

If Hogwarts was for students older than 17, it might look like Brakebills University. These characters are studying magic, which you probably aren’t (though if you are, then please share how), but they have to study just as hard as you do. You’re definitely going to wish you were at Brakebills and not studying for whatever core requirement you’re taking, but if these students can pass their exams that involve getting turned into birds, you can pass whatever test you have coming your way.

Just pretend it’s for charms instead of quantitative reasoning.

Do you have any go-to TV shows that motivate you to study? Shows that inspire you to work hard, but with just the right amount of episodes that you don’t skip studying all together? Whatever they may be, watch them wisely, and good luck with your final exams!