What TV Shows Students are Watching and Why

Watching television and videos on Youtube is a pastime most students are familiar with and indulge in regularly, so I decided to ask around and see exactly what people are watching and why. Based on information from a survey circulated around students at the University of Washington, here are some students’ favorite shows and some interesting tv-watching statistics! 

First, some basics about student watching habits: most students watch television on Netflix (67%) and most frequently watch in the comedy (38%), mystery (21%), and drama (33%) genres.

Most students reported watching 1-2 hours of television per day, and related the following reasons for watching their favorite shows: 

The Office and Grey’s Anatomy were most named as students’ favorite shows. As a personal fan of The Office, its position as most reported favorite came as no surprise. The Office is a relatable, entertaining, and fun show that touches on real-world social situations and problems in a comedic and light-hearted way. With likeable characters and interesting, often hilarious dynamics between them, The Office is a great show to watch to unwind and remember not to take things too seriously—there’s something funny in almost every situation and it helps to have a positive outlook and seek it. 

Other than The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, here are some other favorite shows college students reported, organized by genre in case you are looking for recommendations. Below the list are some perspectives and testimonials about these popular shows!

Mystery and Crime

Buzzfeed Unsolved


Law and Order: SVU



Game of Thrones

Madam Secretary

The Originals


Man in the High Tower


The Eric Andre Show

Patriot Act

The Good Place

Big Mouth



BoJack Horseman

How I Met Your Mother

Curb Your Enthusiasm


New Girl


The Great British Baking Show

MasterChef Junior

Love Island UK


Student perspectives and testimonials of their favorite shows:

Seinfeld: “I like Seinfeld because it is like I’ve dissociated, sitting back and watching my own life unfold before my eyes—a show about nothing! Very relaxing. On a more serious note, Seinfeld is a great show that can be enjoyed without too much thought, making for a relaxing break.” 

Friends: “It’s just wholesome, funny content—I can shut my brain off and just laugh along.” 

Law and Order: SVU: “Law and Order: SVU, with over 400 episodes on constant replay, provides a reliable source of entertainment. You become emotionally invested in the characters and I love seeing them develop over the years. There’s plenty of twists and suspense to keep you engaged, although I’m still waiting for Stabler to return.” 

The Great British Baking Show: “I’m currently watching the Great British Baking Show and I love how it has a very calming and relaxed vibe compared to some other American competition cooking shows! It’s easy to keep on while I do my homework without being too much of a distraction, and watching it in bed is also one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long week.”

The Office: “It was really hard for me to get past the first season, but the whole show is ordinary and simple that it’s become one of my favorites! It’s about realistic characters going through real problems like eviction, single motherhood, and racism. While the documentary-esque style of the show is different and off putting, it adds a new layer of humor by making the cameramen characters!”

Friends: “Watched it because it was a classic, still watching it because it’s impossibly addictive. While I recognize how much the show strays from the reality of adulthood, the writing is superb and the delivery is that much better. My favorite characters are definitely Joey and Chandler!”

The Good Place: “The concept of the show really reeled me in! It’s about someone who finds themselves in heaven, when they were meant to go to hell, and now must try to avoid getting caught. It really keeps you on your toes, and the characters all really grow on you!”