5 Perfect TV Shows for Deadline Escapism

With Christmas fast approaching, most people are now ready for a break from university or work, or just the monotony of everyday life. But some of us are less lucky as we have been saddled with the dreaded January deadlines. Going home for Christmas is still an exciting prospect, but the thought of slaving away over our books and laptops can put a slight dampener on the celebrations. So here are, in my opinion, five brilliant television shows that are just perfect for temporary escapism from deadlines and general stress. If you are one of the lucky people who are not in this situation, I am very happy for you (and slightly jealous), and I am sure you too will find some form of escapism from your general life by watching one of these TV shows. 

 1. Miranda

Miranda is one of my all-time favorite comedy series. I freely admit that I came to this series later than most, having gotten into it with the two-part Christmas special finale that aired the Christmas of 2014. This meant that I went into watching the earlier series knowing how it ended, but this did not diminish its charm in the slightest.

From the pilot episode, Miranda captures her audience through her hilarious breaking of the fourth wall, as well as the pure comedy gold of the show itself. Not only is she a truly likeable and relatable character, but the Britishness of the series makes it even better. For those who suffer from second-hand embarrassment, Miranda’s actions might make you cringe periodically, but the way she handles all her obstacles and still manages to keep herself and us laughing is truly delightful.

Miranda is my go to show whenever I am feeling down, and despite having watched the pilot episode about ten times, it never fails to make me cry with laughter, even now when I know exactly what is coming. Us Brits really know good comedy, and Miranda Hart shows her true talent in this wonderful TV show. Being only three official series long, plus the two Christmas specials, this binge-worthy show won’t take you long to get through, and the thirty-minute episodes provide the perfect viewing for a study break. 

 2. Gavin and Stacey 

The Gavin and Stacey Christmas special from 2008 is mandatory Christmas viewing in my household, as it should probably be in everyone’s, to be honest. Not only is it perfect for getting you into the festive spirit, it includes James Corden in his first carpool karaoke with Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ The cast of Gavin and Stacey is just stellar, with so much British talent, meaning that there is nothing about the show that isn’t great.

Going beyond the Christmas special, all three series of this classic British comedy are just perfection. It is a show that celebrates love and family, without diminishing the comedic aspect of the series. There are many quotable scenes and so many memorable moments that are just brilliant. Whoever thought that the love story of Stacey from Barry Island and Gavin from Billericay would capture the hearts and the laughter of a nation? On top of the laughter, there are a great many touching, heartfelt moments that allow you to form attachments to the characters and their hugely entertaining lives.

Even if you have seen this show before, I recommend a re-watch as it is a comedy that never gets old, and continues to put a smile on my face every time I watch it again. Also, it serves as a reminder of how James Corden got to be the superstar he is now, as he is clearly a very different kind of person from his character Smithy getting himself trapped in a child's rubber ring on the Barry Island beach.

 3. Jane the Virgin

I cannot recommend this show enough. There is nothing it doesn’t have. The basic premise is that Jane Villanueva - a Catholic virgin waiting until marriage, who has a boyfriend – gets accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of her married boss, Rafael. Oh yeah, and the gynecologist who messes up the procedure is Rafael’s sister.

This beginning launches you into a whirlwind TV show set in the beautiful city of Miami, with medical mix-ups, love triangles, heartache, drug lords, police investigations, telenovelas, a quirky narrator, and so much more. The intensity of the plot and the fact that there is always some level of drama in the show means that you get lost in it, which makes it the perfect form of escapism from everyday life, as sometimes you forget yours even exists when watching it!

The characters are loveable and it is surprising how quickly you get sucked into their lives and the crazy events that happen to them. My emotional involvement with the show and the characters are on a level which I don’t often reach, even with other shows that I have become obsessed with. However, before taking it on it is crucial to know that Jane the Virgin is sometimes an emotional rollercoaster, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

4. The Big Bang Theory

I would be surprised to meet anyone who has not watched at least one episode of The Big Bang Theory and even more surprised if those who have watched it stopped at only one episode. I think this show is pure genius, and the characters themselves are also geniuses. Recounting the lives of Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj, and their various romantic, scientific and nerdy escapades, this show is pure joy.

Each character is quirky in their own way, and the introduction of various female characters throughout the show (beginning with Penny in series one) keeps it new and continually entertaining. I had seen various episodes from various points in the series, but it was not until earlier this year that I fully binge-watched the series from start to finish, and was not bored once.

The fact that the episodes are only twenty minutes means that the show is the perfect length for a quick break from work, and you could even squeeze more than one in (as I often do). Even if you have seen this show before, a re-watch is never a bad thing, as sometimes other parts of the episode that hadn’t caught your attention before will do so on a second, or even a third viewing.  

5. Gilmore Girls

And lastly, but certainly not least, the unbeatable Gilmore Girls. For anyone who hasn’t seen this amazing show, you are missing out and need to rectify this immediately. The pilot begins with a shot of Stars Hollow, the quaint American town in which Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory live. Moving then to focus on Lorelai, we see her enter Luke’s Diner, a place of infinite importance within the show and one that holds a special spot in the hearts of the show’s fans. And, thus begins an obsession. 

Lorelai’s wit and speedy dialogue is truly charming and she is a character that truly captures hearts. However, alongside Lorelai are a multitude of quirky and loveable characters of various ages and personalities. Lorelai’s parents, Emily and Richard Gilmore, are set up in perfect opposition to the lives that Rory and Lorelai lead, but still hold central roles within the plot.

I could sing the praises of Gilmore Girls all day, but suffice to say that this show is truly wonderful and has something in it for everyone. The original seven series are great and provide the opportunity to watch the characters and their relationships with each other evolve. More recently, the creators teamed up with Netflix to bring us A Year in the Life, which included four feature-length episodes, spanning an eventful year for all the Gilmores. This was a great addition to the already brilliant series and allowed fans the chance to catch up with the lives of Rory, Lorelai, and others from the original cast.

Gilmore Girls is the perfect pick-me-up show and I cannot recommend it enough for those who need a break from life and the stresses it brings.   

I hope that these five recommendations of TV shows not only provide you with the opportunity for a break from deadlines, but also help you to find a new tv show to devour, or even to choose which old favorite to re-watch. Either way, life cannot be all work and no play, and providing yourself with a short TV break is never a bad choice to make when life is getting tough!