After months of picketing and negotiation, the TV writers' strike has finally come to an end, and we can finally look forward to a new crop of episodes from our favorite network shows.
Throughout the duration of the lengthy strike, the public was exposed to a variety of bizarre repercussions: late-night show hosts with grown-out beards, Ellen DeGeneres fumbling on-air without a pre-written monologue and a barrage of endlessly mediocre reality shows.
While some people may have been mildly nauseated upon seeing Hulk Hogan as the host of the revamped American Gladiators, we've come out of the strike (relatively) unscathed. Our terrible notions about what would happen to us without new episodes of Desperate Housewives, for the most part, didn't come to pass.
We still watched TV - to find amusement, to distract ourselves, or to procrastinate - even if there were no new plot twists in McDreamy and Meredith's relationship on Grey's Anatomy.
More than anything else, the strike offered us the opportunity to realize the extent to which popular TV is ingrained in our culture, and how we can, in fact, manage just fine without regularly scheduled intervals of mindless entertainment. More work got done, less time was wasted, and, dare we say it, a lot of us were really a whole lot better off.
Additionally, the strike forced us to recognize and appreciate the witty and thoughtful wordplay that goes into the creation of entertaining television, and how many programs suffered without it. The writers achieved overwhelming recognition and a victory of principle, if not the exact demands they originally made.
Though the writer's strike threatened the longevity of favored network shows, the absence of new episodes reminded viewers across the country that there really is life outside of their regularly scheduled programs. And you know what? It really wasn't bad at all.
Enough about that, though - we're going to watch The Office.