Comfort Shows For Quarantine

Let’s just be real: with everything going on in the world right now, many of us have had moments during the last few months where we felt as though we were losing our minds, and have subsequently been turning to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and a variety of other streaming services that give us access to thousands of shows and movies to choose from. Why? Entertainment and art is an escape. During the first few months of the pandemic, when I quite literally only saw the light of day when walking around my neighborhood each day, I, like everyone else, became super anxious and antsy. I wasn’t seeing anyone except for my mom and my pets, and the state of the world and all of the tension going on made me experience levels of boredom and anxiety I never thought possible. But, crawling into my bed and watching episode after episode of a show that took my mind off of the real world for a bit helped me get through those months more than I can fully describe. These are just my personal top picks, and they’re definitely not all modern shows, but here are my suggestions for comfort shows that might help to ease your nerves as you navigate life during a pandemic.

  1. 1. Jane The Virgin

    This renowned telenovela truly gives all of the feels. You’ll laugh, cry (really hard), and relate to at least one if not more of the characters in some way. This is one of those shows where you promise to go to bed after this next episode, but that never happens because the themes of love and family and the overall feel of the show is a constant source of happiness. If you’re one of the many who have already seen it all the way through, well, start all over again! You can never get enough of the Villanueva women.

  2. 2. Friends

    From the pilot all the way to the tear-jerker finale ten seasons later, this is a classic show that helps you to stop thinking about the world’s problems during the hour (or six) when you let one episode after another play. For the most part and especially during the early seasons, the subject material in this show is just so light-hearted that you can’t help but feel some sort of calmness and stress-relief as you watch it.

  3. 3. Full House/Fuller House

    Depending on what you’re in the mood for, the original Full House or the new spinoff are perfect escapist binge-worthy shows. But, especially in terms of the O.G 80s sitcom, you don’t even have to watch more than an episode or two to feel a bit lighter. We could all use a solid hour each day of watching a tight-knit, loving family and some light-hearted, but also seriously funny comedy. In the mood for something more modern but equally endearing? Opt for Fuller House to see the original characters return to the house at different stages in their lives, and most importantly, SPOILER ALERT, to see Steve and DJ have their long-awaited happy ending.

  4. 4. Impractical Jokers

    Whenever you turn on TruTV and see that Impractical Jokers reruns are on for the next few hours, take advantage. This is literally just four best friends with great chemistry and contagious laughs making each other do embarrassing things in public. There is no serious or tense content in any shape or form, and it’s one of the few reality television shows that has no drama whatsoever. It’s totally juvenile and immature and the comedy is funny but mindless, which is very much needed right now. 

  5. 5. The Office

    This one is obvious, but will always reign true. You can pick any of the episodes from the many seasons of this beloved show and feel entirely removed from the outside world. You’ve likely seen it all the way through upwards of three times, so it’s the perfect show to watch when you want something familiar and easy-going where you know how everything ties together at the end. Don’t you get instant bursts of serotonin as soon as you hear the opening notes of the theme song? Same here.

  6. 6. Gilmore Girls

    Some of the characters might not always appreciate it, but Stars Hollow is a truly magical  place, and you feel like you also live there with the Gilmore women when you watch the show. While in hindsight, I would not recommend idolizing Rory (at least not Yale- dropout, cutting off her mother and stealing a boat Rory,) all of the characters are relatable to some extent and Lorelai and Rory are one of the world’s funniest and closest  mother-daughter duos. And when you’re done with the original seven seasons, catch up with the crew in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. 

  7. 7. Gossip Girl

    Yes, there are some not-so-comfortable moments in there. Okay, fine. A good deal of this show was downright cringe-worthy, but that was part of its charm. Especially if you want to feel better about yourself as a person, there’s nothing better than watching these characters mess up and torture each other time and time again. A lot of the drama is more silly than serious, and the lives of these people are so outlandish that it makes viewers think about anything but real life.

  8. 8. Bob's Burgers

    Honestly, this show is top-tier comedy. There’s no laugh track or audience reactions or even real-life actors, yet you can’t help but laugh out loud while watching because it is genuinely funny. Even though they’re lower-class and all have some serious quirks and faults, I have never wanted to be part of a family more than I do the Belchers. And that says a lot because, well, they’re fictitious animated characters. It’s a show that is the perfect mix of weirdly relatable and totally ridiculous. 

These are a mere few of the many escapist, comfort shows out there, but they are the reasons I made it through quarantine without going insane from overthinking and stress. While watching thriller or serious dramatic shows is enjoyable in its own right, now more than ever, people just need something to make them feel light, happy, silly, and even far-removed from their daily life from time to time. There’s sometimes a stigma around watching mindless television or binge-watching in general, but at the end of the day, comfort is one of the main purposes of media like shows and movies. Not everything you watch needs to be intense or have a serious underlying message. It is perfectly acceptable, and if you ask me even necessary, to take some time to lie down, put your phone away, turn off the news and watch your comfort shows.