An illustration of a woman relaxing and watching TV. Many people have comfort TV shows that they watch over and over again as a way of relaxing and enjoying their favorite shows. Illustration via Everette Cogswell.
My mom and I crack up every time she or I say, “Believe me, I’m the Einstein of the clan,” which was infamously uttered by Luke of “Gilmore Girls.” TV shows are fun, but also so much more. They mark moments spent relaxing and laughing on my own or with family and friends, and they promote bonding through shared time together and memorable lines. In this article I have compiled a list of my favorite comfort shows recommendations, all of which are TV shows I have watched many times.
“The Office” is probably my all-time favorite TV show, and I would estimate I’ve seen every episode at least 10 times. I first discovered this show in 7th grade, and was immediately hooked. Whether it was Jim playing a prank on Dwight, Michael saying something out of pocket, or just any of the other hilarious situations creators Michael Schur, BJ Novak, and Mindy Kaling came up with, every episode had me laughing hysterically. Even though I’ve seen this show many times, I still laugh at all the jokes; they are that funny. Furthermore, the romance of Jim and Pam is one of my favorite TV romances, and I was rooting for them the entire time. If you haven’t seen this show, I’d highly recommend you watch it if you’re ever in need of a good laugh or a little pick-me-up. It’s the type of show you can rewatch over and over especially because the episodes are short, so they hold your attention.
“Parks and Recreation”
Another genius show created by Michael Schur, “Parks and Recreation” is just as funny as “The Office.” The characters are all likable, and each brings their own funny quirks to the show. Similar to “The Office,” this show also has great love stories: both the couples of Ben and Leslie and April and Andy make for entertaining romance. The character of Leslie Knope makes me, as a woman, feel so powerful; out of all the shows I’ve watched, she is definitely my favorite character. I’m currently on my 5th rewatch of the show, and would highly recommend this show to anyone who needs a laugh. This show is perfect in every way, and it never fails to make me happy.
One of the few TV shows with 40-minute episodes that I can sit through, “Grey’s Anatomy” kept me hooked for over 10 seasons. I love every single character and their drama-filled lives, as well as all the surgeries and hospital work they perform during the show. The drama in this show is top-notch, and it comes with its share of great romances, heartbreaks, and deaths that left me sobbing for days. Shonda Rhimes, creator of the show, does a superb job of writing characters with depth, likable personalities and real issues. I particularly love how Rhimes depicts strong female characters, who are recognized for their medical achievements just the same as their male peers. This show inspired me to want to become a doctor, and I am now planning on studying biology in college on a pre-med track, simply because “Grey’s Anatomy” made the life of a doctor seem so fun and interesting. My only advice would be to not watch the show after season 10, because to me, the new characters and storylines are boring, and the show is dragged out too long. Other than that, “Grey’s Anatomy” is a terrific show; binge-watch to your heart’s content!
Another sitcom, “Modern Family” is among the funniest shows ever written. Through their comedic bickering and vastly different personalities, each family brings something hilarious to the show. Because of the far-ranging age of the characters, there is a character everyone can relate to, making the show much more enjoyable. This show is wholesome and always puts a smile on my face. I’ve even shed a couple of happy tears, namely during the last episode when the families were saying their goodbyes. It’s so cute to watch the characters grow up over the course of the show.
A final comfort show of mine is “Gilmore Girls.” Similar to Alex Dunphy of Modern Family, I strongly relate to Rory Gilmore and aspired to be like her throughout high school. Although this show is technically a drama, I found it hilarious, particularly the character of Lorelai Gilmore, who whips out a joke at any moment. Similar to my other favorite shows, this show is also filled with romance and love triangles. Personally, I am team Jess and Christopher, although I recognize that may be a highly unpopular opinion. I watched this show with my mom, and it was a great bonding moment for us; specifically as we watched Rory and Lorelai, and Emily’s mother-daughter relationships grow over the years. Even my dad, who insists he didn’t like the show, would stand behind the TV completely hooked, asking us questions about whatever drama was happening on screen at that moment.
Comfort TV shows entertain by telling us stories. A good nostalgic show can bring great comfort as we see ourselves in the characters we love. As Leslie Knope of “Parks and Rec” said, “We have to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come third.”