11 Feel-Good Shows To Stream Now
Feeling down and in the mood to sink into a comedy or two? Here are our recommendations
With no end in sight to the pandemic, it’s become harder and harder to find ways to keep calm. Personally, consuming media has always been one of my go-to coping mechanisms, since I can disappear into a different world for a couple of hours. Below, we’ve rounded up 11 feel-good shows that feel like warm hugs or an extra friend to keep you company as we all try to flatten the curve together.
One Day at a Time
One Day at a Time is a hug in the form of television. There’s nothing more comforting than a good old-fashioned multicamera sitcom—even more so when it’s got progressive themes and heartrending moments. One Day at a Time follows the Alvarez family as they navigate life as Cuban-Americans. The show talks about things like racism, sexuality, mental health, and addiction, without feeling like a wet blanket that’s just admonishing on and on.
One Day at a Time is available to stream on Netflix.
The Nanny tells the story of Fran Fine, a Jewish woman from Queens who becomes the nanny of a Broadway producer’s three Anglo-American kids. Shenanigans ensue—as they usually do in multicam sitcoms from the 90s!—and Fran does it all in wacky, flashy, gorgeous outfits.
The Nanny is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings
In Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, eight of Dolly Parton’s most beloved songs are brought to life. “Jolene,” for example, tells the story of Emily, a housewife who befriends a woman named Jolene, and “Down from Dover” is about an teen interracial couple, Dee and Lincoln, who are forced apart as Lincoln leaves for the Vietnam War. Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is heartfelt and warm, just like the woman behind the songs.
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is available to stream on Netflix.
In Sweet Magnolias, three women who have been best friends since high school—Maddie, Dana Sue, and Helen—see each other through the toughest of times and the not-so-tough parts of life. Sweet Magnolias focuses on the importance of friendship—especially friendship between women.
Sweet Magnolias is available to stream on Netflix.
Queer Eye is a great feel-good show to disappear into, whatever may be happening out in the world. As a reboot of the 2003 makeover show, Queer Eye features the Fab Five, or people with expertise in various fields: food and wine, fashion, culture, design, and grooming. Queer Eye is joyous and fun, and it’s easy to feel like Antoni, JVN, Karamo, Tan, and Bobby are friends you’ve always known.
Queer Eye is available to stream on Netflix.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
There is something deeply soothing about seeing closets and cabinets organized neatly and perfectly. In Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, she visits families and tells them how they too can achieve that, and says it in the gentlest and softest of voices. Marie Kondo is a comforting presence, and sinking into episodes of her show during a time like this is extremely recommended.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is available to stream on Netflix.
Somebody Feed Phil
Speaking of pure, comforting presence, Everybody Loves Raymond’s showrunner Phil Rosenthal is another one. In the travel documentary Somebody Feed Phil, he visits various cities all cross the world, from New Orleans to Seoul, and just eats. Watching episodes of Somebody Feed Phil is inexplicably a lot more comforting as opposed to other similar shows simply because of Phil’s childlike, curious, and joyful personality.
Somebody Feed Phil is available to stream on Netflix.
Shine On with Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon has always been about empowering women. In Shine On, she gets to do exactly that. Shine On is a talk show that features various women, including Dolly Parton, Ava DuVernay, America Ferrera, and Kacey Musgraves, as Reese asks them how they achieved their dreams and got to where they are in life. Shine On is uplifting and inspiring, and is easy to go through: With only nine episodes, it’s a breeze to finish!
Shine On with Reese Witherspoon is available to stream on Netflix.
Hot In Cleveland
In Hot in Cleveland, three middle-aged best friends find themselves making an emergency landing in Cleveland during their flight from Los Angeles to Paris. There, they realize they’re “hot,” as opposed to how they’re seen by men in LA—bygone, old, unattractive. They decide to stay, and they meet Elka (Betty White!), who begrudgingly becomes their friend, and, as is the case in many a sitcom: craziness ensues.
Hot in Cleveland is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation is another great feel-good comedy to watch. This political satire tells the story of Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, as she navigates beauracracy in her department—and in the government—while doing her very, very best. Tip: skip the first season. It’s famously bad.
Parks and Recreation is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Unlike U.S. Masterchef, Masterchef Australia is still filled with highly-competitive, ambitious home chefs, but they don’t get petty and passive-aggressive. If you like the format of Masterchef but find that the American version is a tad too harsh, find comfort in the Australian version, where is everyone is, for the most part, supportive of each other. It’s no Great British (or Australian) Bake Off, but it’ll do.
Masterchef Australia is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Lead photo from Netflix