Surprising life lessons from your favorite movies and TV shows

MANILA, Philippines — Imagine a person in a ratty old shirt, lying on a couch, with orange cheese stained fingers fumbling with the remote control. He could be somebody you know, but he could have also been you at some point.

We’ve all been there, when we were so hooked on watching a particular TV series or so engrossed in a movie marathon that we just. Couldn’t. Stop.

But this isn’t something you only do by yourself. If you’ve ever followed a series with your friends, or spent an entire weekend watching movies with your family, then you know it’s something to bond over. And it’s an activity you can do even more now that you’re all going to have spare time over the holidays.

This Christmas break, don’t just watch. As you go through your favorite shows, take time to reflect, and even pick up a nugget of wisdom or two. Here are some examples of classic films and top rated TV shows that teach you a little something about life.

The Big Bang Theory

Life lesson: Be yourself

Your holiday schedule is probably full of parties. If you’re an introvert and are feeling apprehensive about these gatherings, just remember: if the awkward foursome of Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj can survive anything, then so can you.

Every sitcom is filled with crazy antics and this one doesn’t fall short. There’s that time girl-shy Raj dates Siri; the scene where Sheldon asks Amy Farrah Fowler to be his girlfriend during her date with someone else, and Howard’s conversations with his overbearing mother. The Big Bang Theory is a funny best friend that lets you know it’s A-okay to be who you are, geek or otherwise.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2

Life lesson: Make the most of any situation

Who says you can’t celebrate Christmas while stuck in an island? That’s exactly what happens to National Lampoon’s cousin Eddie and his family when they go on a vacation in the South Pacific and eventually get shipwrecked. The bad fortune doesn’t stop there as the comedy actually begins with Eddie getting fired right before Christmas, and him worrying about his family.

Before you ask how this could all be funny, be assured that Christmas Vacation 2 is filled with gags, just like any National Lampoon movie. This one has its fair share of cringe-worthy situations too, but underneath them all is a story of a father who wants to provide for those he loves, and a family that is able to turn things around and make the most of an otherwise hopeless situation.

Photo courtesy of Fox International Channels

New Girl

Life lesson: Be an empowered woman  

Keep the women in your life close to your heart this season, and constantly remind them how strong and vital they are to you. While you’re at it, watch a show with them whose main character embodies what it means to be a modern-day feminist.

Sure, Jess gets into constant arguments with Schmidt and doesn’t quite get why Nick acts the way he does, but she does hold her own in a house full of men. She’s witty, a wonderful teacher, and an even better best friend to Cece. Oh, and she has a masters degree, too. So to all the women out there: you can wear floral dresses, break into song, and be a force to be reckoned with.

Shows and movies don’t just give you a way to escape life, they let you in on experiences you never would have had otherwise. Say that to the next person who questions your TV habits. —

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