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8 Comfort Shows for When You’re Missing Home

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

Being away from home can be difficult for many reasons, maybe you’re out of state or just a couple minutes away. Either way, sometimes you just need to curl up and watch a good show to get your mind off of things. Here are 8 comfort shows that feel like home.

1. modern family

ABC mockumentary Modern Family was created by comedy legend Christopher Lloyd. We watch as the extensive and colorful Dunphy/Pritchett family grows up. The wide array of messages about doing the right thing and navigating life offers a uniquely warm and comforting feeling. This show is not high stress and allows you to just sit back and observe. Since the show follows family members in all walks of life, from kindergarten to retirement, there is surely a character or two you can relate with in some way. Additionally, many of the situations that characters face are universal to American families- starting school, dealing with crushes, and working through family drama- which adds to the level of relatability that the show provides. Modern Family has earned its spot as #1 due to its low stress and wholesome plot lines.

2. FRiends

Friends first aired in 1994 and continued until 2004, making it a childhood classic for many in our generation. Once familiar with a couple of episodes, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, and Joey feel like your own friends. The gang resides in two New York City apartments that face each other. The show features this group as they grow career-wise, emotionally, and in many other ways. At any point in the day they can be found together discussing work, family, relationships, or whatever else is relevant to them at the moment. 

Despite being a hilarious sitcom, Friends acts as a blueprint for a self made family or a home away from home. A large population has experienced moving out or moving away from your biological family, causing a need to build a support system of what begins as strangers. The successful friend group featured in this show is what we can all hope our support system embodies, give or take a couple aspects like love triangles or some unwanted drama between the group. The important characteristic this circle displays is their ability to bounce back from any downfall, whether personal or involving the entirety of them, and move forward together. 

My own love and affirmation for Friends is backed up by the fact that Friends remains popular even after almost three decades from its air date. Additionally, in 2018 19% of adults aged 18-34 admitted to have watched every single episode of the show, while 36% of the total population 18 years and older have at least seen a few episodes (Statista ‘Friends’ study). Basically, if you won’t take my word for it, take the rest of the population’s word, you won’t regret it. 

3. Schitt’s creek

Schitt’s Creek is a must watch whether you’re looking for a comfort show or not. It’s a hilarious and witty series about an absurdly rich family navigating their new home in a small country town. Throughout the series they are humbled time and time again. Though they do learn some life lessons and definitely grow as people, each episode will give you a stomach ache from laughing. Siblings David and Alexis’ sarcastic bickering is a personal favorite, though it’s hard to choose between that and their parent’s dynamic. Every relationship and personality in the series is perfectly crafted. What makes the series even more authentic is that the creators of the show, who are father and son in real life, play the main father and son in the show. Knowing this makes each scene even more comical as you wonder whether or not the situations played out in their real life. 

4. New Girl

Looking for a funny and realistic sitcom featuring characters that, almost, have the personality of cartoon personas? Look no further.  New Girl is a classic, lighthearted, go-to that ran from 2011 to 2018. It features Jess, our new girl in town, as she moves into a loft with three boys: Nick, Winston, and Schmidt. She starts the first season with the challenge of getting over a long term boyfriend who she previously lived with. The three boys she moves in with are immediately thrust into her big personality when they have to help calm her down and stop watching Dirty Dancing on repeat. Though their help initially comes from a self-serving motive, (they couldn’t stand Dirty Dancing and her sobbing was getting annoying), the boys and Jess come to truly care for one another and begin to support each other in all endeavors. Throughout the seasons they face love triangles, friend drama, and work problems in a goofy and slightly unrealistic way. 

New Girl is one of those shows that you can watch time and time again without getting sick of it, you’ll repeatedly fall in love with the characters each time it crosses your screen. All in all, watching the characters grow in all aspects of life definitely carries a sense of comfort and motivation for anyone relating to their stages of life. I certainly find myself able to recenter as I watch familiar scenes carry out and characters be themselves. New Girl, though sometimes ridiculous, is a baseline and reminder of healthy and productive friend groups that we can all hope to have in our own lives. 

5. Bob’s burgers

Bob’s Burgers is the perfect mix of mature topics in an immature light. With 12 seasons and a 13th on its way, you won’t have to worry about running out of episodes overnight. Our quirky and lovable cartoon characters include angsty oldest sister Tina, wholesome middle child Gene, intense and weirdly mature for her age Louise, stubborn dad Bob, and outgoing mom Linda. Watching these character’s outrageous and unlikely lives unfold provides a sense of comfort and comedy as we appreciate the fact that, most of us, will never face these situations.

The focus of this show is not character development which is made evident by the fact that even after 12 seasons, the characters remain their respective ages. This is made up for in other aspects such as comedy level, entertainment factor, and creative new plot lines each episode. This tradeoff also means that you can begin watching the show at any point in the series and not be too lost. I became a fan of the show from just watching random episodes in no particular order that would play on TV. What this means is that if you’re one of those people that can’t stay consistent with a series for the life of you, this is your show. The lightheartedness of each scene doesn’t require your complete undivided attention, making it perfect for a show to unwind or relax with after a long day of classes or work. 

If you do get into this show and find yourself binging all 12 seasons, don’t fret, the Bob’s Burgers Movie was just released in May of this year. I have not had the pleasure of watching it myself, however, it did receive a decent number of good reviews. All this to say: if you’re looking for a low commitment comedy with (almost) endless episodes, this is the show for you.

6. The good place

Unlike the rest of the shows on this list, Michael Schur’s The Good Place features many non-relatable high stress, life altering, morally crucial plotlines. It’s the way that the loveable and quirky main characters band together through these extremely tough and somewhat ridiculous situations that offers a level of comfort. Watch along as Elanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason navigate a new and goofy take on the afterlife. Be prepared for many twists and turns throughout the 4 seasons. The Good Place is sure to keep you interested and on your toes, earning its place as number five on this list.

I’ll try not to give away too much, but as I write this I’m almost over enthusiastic about this plot, these characters, relationships, etc. The series begins pretty straightforward, and we get thrown our first plot twist about halfway through episode one. This one shift is just the beginning of a huge web of plot twists and alternate theories that you will begin to discover one-by-one as you watch each episode. It is almost like a game, you can try to guess what’s actually happening before it becomes revealed in the plot, (which if you do, props to you because that was not my experience in the slightest). 

This show has the best of everything: surprising plot line, lovable characters, romantic relationships we can get behind, an insane amount of character development, and many other aspects you have to experience for yourself. I know I already mentioned it, but the character development in this show is like no other. This is mostly because the characters’ entire eternal afterlife is reliant on the fact that they grow as people. To do this, they are guided by their ethics professor friend Chidi, where we, the viewers, actually get to learn some messages about morality in an exciting and engaging way. In conclusion, this series has a little bit of everything. You’re sure to take home something of value while also getting a laugh in many many times each episode.

7. kim’s convenience

Kim’s Convenience is a wholesome comedy and lifestyle piece about a Korean family who runs a convenience store in Canada. The show does tackle heavier themes of discrimination and familial pressure, though it is not the main essence of the series. Kim’s Convenience is a comedy that follows the four members of the Kim family in their day-to-day adventures. The cast displays a very believable and familiar-to-many family dynamic. What’s different about this show than the others on the list is that it doesn’t mask problems it decides to tackle in a comedic way. A prime example of this is the relationship between the father and son in this series. Jung, Mr. Kim’s only son, was kicked out in highschool for being a bad student and getting in trouble with the law a couple of times growing up. The pressure between them builds as the show goes on and (spoiler alert), they are able to rekindle their relationship little by little. Even the parents only daughter Janet, who is a generally respectful kid and works as a college student at the beginning of the series, is faced with her parents’ projection of their expectations and disappointments no matter how much she does academically or socially.

These circumstances, or others like them, are relatable to many families. Kim’s Convenience, though a goofy and lighthearted show at times, represents what many face at home regardless of their closeness to family members.

8. community

Dan Harmon’s Community follows a relatable and loveable study group enrolled in community college. The gang goes through ordinary and not-so-ordinary adventures as they make their way through their required courses. The show features both well-known and more underground comics such as Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, and Chevy Chase. The casting of this series is top tier as each person comes from a different life experience and general experience in comedy. The different perspectives and takes each actor provides make each episode a well-rounded piece. The diversity of personalities and characters in the show is somewhat familiar; someone in the main crew is sure to remind you of a close friend or family member. Watching Community feels like you’re hanging out with a group of friends and watching hilarious situations unfold without having to exert any actual social energy.

Some viewers complain that the show’s content quality went downhill after season 4. Whether or not this is the case, or whether or not you find yourself agreeing with it, this still leaves 3 good hardy seasons to enjoy.

Welcome to my author page! My name is Ava, I'm from Arizona, and this is my first year here at UVA. I'm undecided in my major but have many interests including law, writing, leadership, volunteering, spending time outside, and working with kids!