In case you hadn't heard, this week marked the series finales of both 24 and Lost, leaving fans of Byzantine plots, glacial pacing, and right-wing propaganda with huge, empty spaces in their lives. At least until the next Tom Clancy novel comes out.
But have no fear, brave TV watchers. For there are plenty of real life alternatives to the crazy story elements you've become used to these past years to ease you back into your comfort zones. They may not adhere to network designated scheduling, or fit neatly into a 60-minute weekly format, but these options should provide you with plenty of entertainment while you try to ignore the fact that they never told us what happened to Walt.
The Problem: No More Hot, Sweaty, Attractive People to Ogle The Solution: World Cup 2010
Admit it, one of your main reasons for following Lost was seeing if Matthew Fox or Evangeline Lilly would get down to their dirty, filthy underthings. Luckily, the FIFA 2010 World Cup kicks off in just a couple of weeks, providing us not just with and endless parade of sinewy beefcake occasionally doffing their shirts on the pitch, but also their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) and legions of scantily clad fans.
It's just too bad the sport itself is so excruciating to watch.
The Problem: Jack Bauer Won't Be Around To Torture Bad Guys Anymore The Solution: Hey, Bagram's Still Up and Running
One of the things a lot of us -- deep down in places we don't talk about at parties -- liked about 24 was Jack's unwillingness to let a little thing like the U.S. Constitution get in the way of his search for JUSTICE. Well, you're in luck, because not only has President Obama not closed Guantanamo Bay, but apparently we're still getting our "enhanced interrogations" on at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Jack would be proud.
The Problem: No More Smoke Monster The Solution: BP's Oil Monster
The Man in Black may have been killing people for around 2,000 years, but BP's little snafu is on the verge of destroying an entire ecosystem, and it's just getting warmed up. Good luck kicking that off a cliff.
The Problem: No More Cougar Attacks On 24 The Solution: Please Don't Ask Me To Google "Cougar" For You
For a lot of people, 24's "You gotta be fucking kidding" moment came with the infamous cougar episode in Season 2, leading to a fairly understandable exodus from the show. I'm not saying there are better cougar-related entertainment options out there, except...there are.
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The Problem: No More Alternative Timelines The Solution: Rand Paul's Revisionist History
Some were intrigued by Lost's use of co-existing universes in the last few seasons, others were annoyed by a gimmick often used to prolong a story unnecessarily. Whatever your views on the matter, the coming months will offer plenty of speculation about Senatorial Rand Paul's fantasy world, in which business owners could ban "coloreds," corporations were free of pesky regulations, and the FDA was no longer required to ensure the safety of our food. What a wonderful, lily white, botulism ravaged world it would be.