Dave and I have been discussing comfort tv. There are certain shows that always soothe me; do not seem to age; are perfect for repeat viewing, and therefore provide a tableau of comfort and consistency when life is hard.
So I thought it would be nice to make a collaborative list: I will offer you my comfort shows, and if you have ideas (I’m sure to miss something obvious, but also, tastes differ!) please let me know, and I’ll send out an addendum next week.
Here are my picks:
- Parks and Recreation (so many people seem to have spontaneously begun re-watching this; Dave and I are 3 episodes from the end. Full of intelligent, kind, ambitious weirdos.)
- Brooklyn 99 (Still running, which is a plus! Characters you thought you might hate are now people you love more than your family. Recommended.)
- Bob’s Burgers (Also still running, though honest to god I cannot figure out their release schedule; sometimes new episodes just show up, 4 at a time, and then nothing for weeks. It’s like issues of the New Yorker.)
- Schitt’s Creek (We have not seen the last season because we’re waiting for it to come to Netflix, which is, obviously, agony.)
- 30 Rock (Doesn’t actually feel like the right mood for the moment; remember when a homeless man spat in Liz Lemon’s mouth? But if I’m honest I’ll probably start watching it as soon as I run out of Parks & Rec)
- The Good Place (I do not have the emotional stamina to re-watch this show right now, so it’s misplaced on this list, but also it’s a masterpiece)
- Seinfeld (Literally every episode of Seinfeld will make you say, “Wow, that was a really good episode of Seinfeld!” Unfortunately, we watched them all in the past year)
- Frasier (Nothing bad can ever happen on Frasier. Bad things happen, but they are forgotten in the next episode, and Daphne is always there to make you tea.)
- Archer (I feel like Archer should be on this list because Bob’s Burgers is, but really I don’t feel like re-watching it right now, any more than I do Arrested Development, or even Community, though the latter is mostly because we already re-watched Community pretty recently. There is something about Archer which feels pinned to the time and place in which I first watched it, and cannot be transferred.)
We binged all of Star Trek: Picard in a week, and I have to say, I liked it way more than most of the internet seemed to have. (I could come up with a list of criticisms, sure, but I still enjoyed it.) This makes me wonder if I should A) Watch Star Trek: Discovery, B) Re-watch The Next Generation, since what I really love is Picard, C) Watch Voyager, which I have never seen, for more Seven of Nine and also because I suspect I’d really like Janeway.
While working on some comics this past week, I’ve also re-watched the following movies, which do not fit this category, but make me think that beauty and tempestuousness also has something to offer us at the moment:
- Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Clever, restrained movie about a clever, unrestrained person)
- The Favourite (Spy v Spy)
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire (The female gaze, almost too beautiful to watch while painting, really, because I wanted to keep my eyes on the screen)
And, on the advice of a friend, I might start re-watching The Leftovers, which is way too on-the-nose, perhaps, but also one of my favorite TV shows of all time: manic, brilliant, tortured, transcendent.
Do I have thoughts and feelings about things outside of TV? Absolutely. But don’t you already have enough thoughts and feelings of your own?
Tell me what I’m missing from this list. Enjoy the sun. Notice that the birds are flying very low, and do not seem to care that you are there. Observe the bunny you passed on a walk this morning, which was chewing greenery with a placidity you attribute only to rabbits in children’s books, but which, on this morning, was found by you to actually exist.