TV Comfort Shows: A Show of Support

Our writers tell us about their comfort TV shows and why they keep coming back for more.

multiple writers
12th October 2021
Image: IMDB

We all have that one TV show that we can watch over and over again, and still come back for more. Our writers tell us the shows that they find themselves returning to after countless hours of watching.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-) - Credit: IMDB

I can’t count the times that I have decided to try something new, scrolled for a few minutes, and then decided to come crawling back to Sunny. It’s a show about terrible people doing terrible things, which might not seem the most ‘comforting’. However, there is something about their vein of dark, absurd comedy that makes the show so easy to watch. 

It might take a new viewer a season or so, but once it clicks – it really clicks. For me, there is no other show with as many hilarious quotable moments and reliably funny episode concepts. Its main cast evenly carries the weight of the show while developing uniquely defined characters, and the recurring cast is hilarious too. 

'There is no other show with as many hilarious quotable moments and reliably funny episode concepts'

Often, an episode’s content will be unashamedly dumb, but subtly cover a wider, more topical issue from an interesting stance. The writers are actually very pleasant people, which makes their use of the format as a way of satirising abhorrent views and individuals even more funny. 

The show’s consistency is probably its greatest merit. There isn’t a single episode I wouldn’t sit down and watch if it was broadcast live; I can’t say that about any other show that has 14 seasons. 

by Oren Brown

Sex and the City

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City (1998) Credit: IMDb

I’ve always found surprising how people watched tv shows over and over again without feeling the push to watch something else. That was - until I watched Sex and the City for the first time.

Sex and the City became my comfort tv show, the one that I’d never stop watching. The feeling of comfort, power and familiarity I felt from the first episode has never left me. The story of these four women is now my companion during sad and difficult times. Every time I feel low or I don’t feel quite myself, I turn the TV on. From the moment I see Carrie's tutu skirt, my heart feels lighter and I can feel my emotional batteries charging once more.

'The feeling of comfort, power and familiarity I felt from the first episode, surprisingly never left me'

The story of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha made me realise how strong us women can be, how sexually free we can be and how many things we can achieve. Sex and the City made me realise that no obstacle is too big to overcome (if Carrie survived being dumped at the altar I’m sure I can survive a bad week) and that the most important thing in life is the people you surround yourself with because “nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style”.

by Erika Armanino

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time (2017-20) Credit: IMDb

Rebooted from the 1975 show of the same name, One Day at a Time is an American sitcom that follows Penelope, a single mother, who is a US Army veteran dealing with PTSD and her family. It might just be the best show on TV.

The main reason that the show will continue to be on my watch list is down to its ability to tackle a variety of issues, including; mental illness, racism, homophobia, sexism, immigration and addiction.

The show mixes humour with heartache to provide characters and plots that provoke laughter, crying and cheering within the same scene.

For example, Lydia the Cuban grandmother who refuses to submit to age and lose her passion for dancing and sexuality, rejects heaven and her chance to be with her husband again, stating “not yet.” The vibrancy, stubbornness and passion of Lydia’s character by far makes her the funniest character. When she is not providing a quick-but-hilarious remark, her emotional past as a refugee makes her a character that is impossible not to root for.

'It might just be the best show on TV'

Other storylines include a wedding that prompts Penelope to wonder which of her former partners will be her own happy ending, before stating that she “looks damn good in white”. The final scene is her graduation from nurse school, wearing a white graduation gown as her family cheers on.

Perhaps the most emotional scenes come from Elena, the 16-year-old queer social justice activist daughter of Penelope. After realising she is gay, she deals with her father’s rejection of her at her quinceanera, to which her mother performs the father-daughter dance. Other storylines include her best friend being deported, “they didn’t send her home, they sent her away,” and her falling in love with her syd-nificant other, Syd.

The show never fails to bring surprises, emotion or hilarity to every episode. That’s why it’ll never leave my watch list.

By Leah Graham

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