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Throughout my whole life, but primarily during stages where I definitely did not have enough free time to be doing it (aka during every single exam season since I was 15), I have gravitated towards watching tv shows as one of my main forms of procrastination and comfort when I feel stressed or upset. There are so many other shows and movies that I absolutely love, but those mentioned here give me a particularly rare level of comfort and make for a great escape from real life at the times when I need it most. Here is list of some of my personal favourite comfort shows which have resonated with me during different periods of my life! 

  1. Degrassi 

(From Degrassi Junior High all the way to Degrassi: Next Class

Degrassi is commonly known for being a sort of lesson of the week Canadian teen soap that Drake was in before he was famous. There have been different incarnations of the show since the 1980s, following the lives and problems of changing groups of teens within the fictional school.  While it is dramatic and cheesy, it also explores many difficult and important topics including but not limited to teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and mental health.  

Degrassi remains very dear to my heart and watching each class of characters grow up and graduate makes me emotional every time. It is truly my favourite high school show of all time and I recommend it to everybody. (It was also the first major acting role for a young Nina Dobrev, which brings me to my next show…) 

  1. The Vampire Diaries  

Like many other girls my age, I had an INTENSE vampire phase when I was younger. I consumed every bit of vampire-themed media I could get my hands on from The Vampire Diaries (TVD)Twilight to House of Night. At the beginning of 2021, I was bored one day and decided to binge all of TVD from the beginning and spent a good few months doing so. It’s a super entertaining programme with an extremely attractive cast and is a particularly enjoyable one to revisit from the beginning to watch the story unfold when you know how it’s going to turn out. Supernatural high school drama is one of the best ways to procrastinate from any particularly draining university assignments. Shout out to the toxic LOML Damon Salvatore <3 <3 <3 

  1. Outlander 

This show is generally more traumatic than it is comforting, but it is still an incredible story that is visually stunning and emotionally investing to watch. Outlander follows Claire, a war nurse from the 1940s who is swept back in time from her husband and life into 1743 Scotland. The show contains many intense and distressing scenes, but at its heart is an extremely romantic and intimate historical love story and I am impatiently awaiting its return in 2022. Shout out to the other LOML Jamie Fraser <3 <3 <3 

  1. The Babysitters Club (2020) 

I am definitely outwith the target age range for Netflix’s modernised version of the beloved 90s children’s book series The Babysitters Club. I am older than the characters in this show, but too young to have been particularly invested in the books, previous TV show and movie from before I was born. However, I absolutely adore this series. It follows a group of young female friends who start a babysitting business together, and these characters are well-rounded, intelligent and caring towards their friends, and the modern-day setting has allowed for the stories from the books to be adapted to have positive messages for a 21st century audience.  

The Babysitter’s Club is entirely adorable and even though it is very new (season two was released on Netflix in early October), I rank it among my top comfort shows of all time and would be proud to introduce it to my very young siblings when they are old enough to appreciate it.  

  1. Dance Academy 

Last but not least, is one of my first ever comfort shows. Dance Academy was an Australian TV show following a group of young teenage dancers at a prestigious ballet school. At first glance Dance Academy is not dissimilar to a lot of other TV shows for young people from the time, but it deals with complex and emotional issues in a way that really resonated with me when I first watched it. There is a particularly sad event at the end of season two that made me cry for hours.  

Upon several rewatches of both the show and the sequel movie that followed it. I have gone on an emotional journey each time and remain attached to the characters and moved by their stories. Watching Dance Academy provides me with a lot of nostalgia and familiarity, which makes it a particularly comforting show for me even several years after first seeing it. 

Abbie Toal

Aberdeen '22

English with Creative Writing student @ UofA
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