If you have been keeping up with film and television news for the past few months, you may be aware of the labor disputes going on in Hollywood with the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
On May 2, 2023, the writers strike officially began with over 11,000 screenwriters moving to the streets of Hollywood to protest studios’ unfair labor contracts. On July 14, 2023, SAG joined the writers on the picket line. With both strikes still ongoing, numerous TV and film productions have shut down. Some productions remain active as they are international and thus may not be under WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike regulations.
An important thing to note is that, as this strike is ongoing, the impact felt by consumers will grow as more time passes. One of the first clear signs of the strike seen by viewers was late-night shows going dark. The next was the lack of actors promoting their movies and shows, such as when the “Barbie” (2023) cast ended promotions on July 13. The next big impact is already starting to emerge, as some of the paused productions are being pushed back and new work is being held back. With these developments, we can anticipate fewer new shows hitting our screens in 2024 and possibly beyond.
If you’re worried you won’t have anything to watch during the entertainment drought, try these classic and completed shows:
“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (1999–)
Originally a spin-off of “Law and Order” (1990–2010, 2021–), “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” is a show for the ages. After recently concluding their 24th season, the show has announced a return for season 25, and with already over 500 episodes to date, this is an easy long watch for anyone. Following the Special Victims Unit in New York City’s police department, the show follows the squad of detectives and their ability to solve cases of sexual assault. With countless famous guest stars from Hilary Duff to Robin Williams, SVU has put out astonishing episodes to boot in its decades long runtime.
“Pretty Little Liars” (2010–2017)
If you’ve watched any of Mike Mic’s iconic YouTube videos, you may already know that “Pretty Little Liars” is one of the most unhinged shows to date. A year after their friend, Alison, goes missing, Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily come back together to start piecing together what really happened the night of September 1, 2009 while being hindered by “A”, an anonymous person who threatens to expose their deepest and darkest secrets and lies. A mystery drama surrounding a group of friends throughout their high school and postcollege years, this show will have you gasping at every reveal, yelling at every relationship and cackling at every other Hanna Marian line.
Stream on Max.
“One Piece” (1999–)
Pirates? Magic fruit? Crazy powers? What’s not to love in a show that has all this and more? “One Piece” follows Luffy, a boy who gains a rubber body after eating the mysterious “Devil Fruit.” He hunts for a famously hidden treasure after putting together his pirate crew, aptly named the “Straw Hat Pirates,” thanks to Luffy’s own hat. The crew sails about the Grand Line ocean path in search of the One Piece treasure as Luffy aims to become the Pirate King. With currently over 1000 episodes, this anime is sure to last a viewer through an entertainment drought.
“Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1996–2003)
Before there was “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (2018–2020), there was “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” a sitcom starring Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Spellman. On Sabrina’s 16th birthday, her aunts reveal to her that she is a half-witch. She soon begins to learn to use her powers, but her spells backfire and go wrong frequently. As she learns to balance her mortal life with her witch life, Sabrina comes into her own as a young adult, exploring friendships, romance, college and the work life. Oh, and there’s a talking cat.
Stream on Hulu.
“Schitt’s Creek” (2015–2020)
One of the best comedies of our time, “Schitt’s Creek” rounds out the list for shows to watch (and rewatch). When the once wealthy Rose family loses all their money to an embezzlement scheme, they have to pack up and move to the singular asset they still hold — a small, rundown town named Schitt’s Creek that the family had bought as a joke. With iconic characters and running gags such as Alexis Rose’s constant involvement in life threatening situations, this show will have you quoting its jokes religiously. The well-rounded cast and their chemistry is enough to make you love this comedy from episode one.