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Background Noise: A List of Shows with Many Seasons and Shorter Episodes

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As someone who does not like to be in rooms that are filled with complete silence, I find myself constantly searching for new shows to have on while I journal, crochet, eat, or do just about anything that I am able to split my attention with. My roommate and I are similar in this way, so when we finish our current background show, we usually come to each other for suggestions on a new one. I know there must be other people like us, so I decided to make this list of shows which include many seasons and short episodes, because I find that shows are a lot easier to split your attention with when they have shorter episodes. Another good thing to note, the short episodes are an easy way to track the amount of time you are spending on whatever task you are completing.

Here is a list of series from just about every genre I could think of:

Modern Family

  • Streaming Service: Hulu (No premium Subscription Required)
  • Seasons: 11
  • Minutes per episode: 20-24 min

This series is for people who enjoy sitcoms that involve the inclusion of diverse families. One family includes a husband and wife with three children, a family with two husbands and an adopted daughter, and another that is a blended family. I really enjoy this show because it is light-hearted and portrays the reality and beauty of modern families.

Bojack Horseman

  • Streaming service: Netflix
  • Seasons: 6
  • Minutes per episode: 25 min

I started watching this series after coming across many TikTok videos of possible fan theories. This show discusses the intricacy of life. Each character has a side to themselves that is painfully awful, but the storyline reveals each of their pasts and how they came to be the person they are. I found myself disgusted, laughing, and sad at different points throughout the seasons. I enjoyed how the creators of the series display mental illness and how it affects different aspects of someone’s life.

Drop Dead Diva

  • Streaming Service: Hulu (Premium)
  • Seasons: 6
  • Minutes per episode: 60 min

Although this series does not follow the short episodes guideline, I find this particular series delightful anyways. It follows a model who has passed away and came back to life as a plus-sized lawyer. This series is both light-hearted and deals with the grief of losing family. I found this series to be amazing on the inclusivity of all body types.


  • Streaming Service: HBO Max
  • Seasons: 6
  • Minutes per episode: 26-41 min

This series follows four women in New York who deal with the ups and downs of their friendship while juggling their individual lives. I enjoyed this series despite many parts of it bothering me, but this show reveals the complexity of people and how no one can be completely loved or hated. It sucked me in at points so this could end up being a dangerous series to split your attention with, especially if you’re easily pulled into a story.

Bob’s Burgers

  • Streaming Service: Fox
  • Seasons: 12 (and continuing)
  • Minutes per episode: 22 minutes

This show made me laugh and feel a little bit nauseous. It is the perfect show to sit down and turn on while working on a crocheting piece or enjoying a burger with your friends. The episodes are short, which makes it a nice show to watch before bed without having to stay up to finish a long episode. Each episode tackles a different problem within a family of five, but they almost always find a great solution. There are elements of comedy and realism mixed throughout, and you’ll have no issue splitting your attention with this show.

A few honorable mentions: Say Yes to the Dress, Criminal Minds, Married at First Sight, and any Real housewives addition. I’m a sucker for reality television, and these are the perfect shows to only sort of pay attention to.

Niyah Dedman

Northern Arizona '24

I am a sophomore and an English major at Northern Arizona University with a Creative Writing emphasis and Journalism minor. My favorite activities around town are hiking, hammocking, and spending too much money on iced coffee.