I’ve finally found my reading groove again, but I’ve also been watching a lot of TV. Netflix, Hulu, HBO – you name it, I’ve been streaming it, and I don’t think I’m alone in that! I’m someone who likes to have background noise, whether it’s music or TV, so I almost always have something playing. Because of this, I have lots and lots of TV recommendations! I’m going to spare you from the FULL list (it’d be WAY too long of a post), but thought I’d share some of my favorites in case you’re looking for something new to watch right now.
Best Comfort TV
These are the shows that I can watch over and over – they’re my tried-and-true shows that always make me feel better when I watch.
Gilmore Girls (Netflix)
This is probably my number one most watched TV show. It’s funny, it’s fun to watch, the characters are great, and the Gilmore’s coffee consumption rivals my own (or vice versa, I guess). And a bonus is if you’re watching this for the first time, you can listen to the amazing Gilmore Guys podcast as you watch!
The West Wing (Netflix)
I was way late on this show – I only watched it for the first time maybe 5 years ago or so? And I have already watched it multiple times since then. It’s a show about government and politics that’s sincere rather than cynical, and really – it’s about the people, not about politics. I feel like watching it actually makes me feel hopeful!
The Office (Netflix)
For years, I refused to watch The Office, claiming that it just wasn’t “my kind” of show. I was WRONG. It is hilarious, but also really sweet in between the laughs. It’s a great comfort show – the plot is not hard to follow, and every episode will make you laugh!
Parks and Recreation (Hulu)
This show is also the perfect mix of funny and sincere, and I love how much it celebrates female friendships. I think the show takes a season or two to really hit it’s stride, but once it does, you’ll be so glad you stuck with it. The talent in this show is so impressive – it has so many great comedians.
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix, Hulu)
This is a recent show, and I wasn’t sure it “belonged” in this category, but it really is the epitome of comfort TV. Don’t let the name fool you – it’s not a crass/crude show at all. Again, like my other comfort recommendations, it’s sweet and funny. It has Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, so you know it’s going to be hilarious, but it’s also just genuine and sweet and good.
Best Dark Shows
So basically, the opposite of the previous list. Shows that I love, but are definitely dark and twisted.
Breaking Bad (Netflix)
When I think of great but dark TV, this is at the top of my list, because it has a main character that you can’t believe you’re rooting for, because he’s not exactly a “good guy.” I don’t know that I think there’s a “bad” episode, and it’s a rare show that ended while it was still on a high.
American Horror Story (Netflix)
So, I don’t love every season of this show equally, but the good ones are so good that I felt like it deserved to be here. Season 1 is by far my favorite, but each season is standalone, so don’t feel like you need to watch in order.
The Night Of (HBO)
This show is only one season long – a miniseries, I guess? – but it’s incredible. It’s a mystery of sorts, where you spend each episode trying to unravel and figure out exactly what happened, and you learn a little bit more each episode.
Game of Thrones (HBO)
I’m pretty sure that everyone has already seen this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good! It’s very twisted, and it’s a show in the things that you think can’t possibly happen do actually happen. But it’s such an immersive story and one that keeps you on your toes the whole time you’re watching.
Best Current Shows
These shows are airing right now, or have dropped recently, and I cannot get enough of them.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC, Hulu)
I love this show! I’m obviously always on board for a show that features singing and dancing, but this show isn’t like Glee. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s such a well done show and really worth watching. They also are really striving for diverse representation – they had a song “sung” by a deaf character (played by a deaf actress!), and it was beautifully done.
Normal People (Hulu)
I really enjoyed the book that this show is based on, so I knew I’d like this too, but it’s kind of “hard” to watch (but worth it!). It’s very realistic, which results in some painfully awkward, cringe-worthy moments where you just want to scream at the TV. But the story is so well told and I couldn’t stop watching.
Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
This is a really cute, fun show from Mindy Kaling – kind of a rom-com in TV form following a high-school girl. Even though she’s young, the show itself doesn’t feel too young, and I was so drawn in to the teenage drama – I wanted more episodes! I also loved that there’s more than just teen drama – there’s a big focus on identity and sense of self that anyone at any age can relate to. I will note that there’s a throwaway plot point about being in a wheelchair that I didn’t love, but it’s forgotten by the second episode and the rest is smooth sailing.