Why you should comfort-watch now more than ever

Catlin Baksa

April 17, 2020

One thing’s for certain. It’s a strange time. If you need a little distraction from the ever-breaking news, read on to find comfort in something familiar and never-changing – our love of our favorite movies and shows. 

Do you ever find that when you’re not feeling well you’re drawn to the same movies and television shows? And before you know it, you’re already into Season 4 of The Office (again). 

My comfort-watch partner: Mr. Gibbons

Isn’t it interesting how we can watch the same two hour story play out over and over? Why do we do it? Maybe because, after a long day of choices and decisions, we just want to select something we know and love. We appreciate the comfort of the familiar and easy. There’s a sense of safety in knowing that within the constraints of the characters’ reality nothing too wild or crazy will happen. And with that, there’s a feeling of knowing “it’s all gonna be alright.” Episodic comfort shows can create a feeling of companionship while in the comforts of our own homes (see: quarantine) in familiar characters and their storylines, similar to our own. We feel so connected that sometimes the feeling is not about the characters, it’s about us.

But let’s not dive too deep. Remember, the key to a great comfort-watch is this: no pressure and take it easy.

You don’t need a reason to comfort-watch, because it’s important to take time for yourself. We’re fully on board with a good comfort-watch-binge here and there. Just remember to take breaks, get fresh air and nourishment, and FaceTime your IRL friends and family between binges.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of our favorite go-to “comfort-watches.”

1. Friends: Cause you’re there for me too

Let’s start with the obvious. This list wouldn’t be complete without a healthy binge-watch of Friends. Is it really a stretch to consider it our collective most favorite ’90’s sitcom? Even a hairstyle came out of this show, let alone all of the memorabilia as Friends turned 25 last year. No matter how you describe it, the cult following is undeniable. Much studying, research, and writing has gone into why we can’t stop watching it. 

Create your own Central Perk vibes and brew a cup of joe, snuggle your smelly cat, sit back into your rust-orange couch, and enjoy.

Available on TBS or for purchase or YouTube TV.

2. New Girl: When you’re tired of looking at your own roommates

Looking for a new gang of friends that bond like a wonderful, dysfunctional family? Look no further than the four roommates of New Girl, each individually the best, worst, and most endearing characters. This TV series is easy, accessible, and often laugh-out-loud funny. The humor ranges from quirky and upbeat to awkward and nerdy to oh-so relatable. Also take a moment to enjoy the “New Girl” herself in this highlight, “23 times Jess from New Girl described our reactions to life perfectly”.

Available on Netflix.

Comfort-watching wouldn’t be complete without your go-to drink and snack

3. Gossip Girl: You know you love me

We do, GG, we do love you. Described on Netflix as, “A group of hyper privileged Manhattan private-school kids seem to get away with everything. Except an anonymous blogger is watching their every move.” They’re not wrong. Even New York Magazine says it’s “… the Greatest Teen Drama of All Time” and “is changing the very model of a successful TV show.” I wouldn’t say they’re wrong either. Gossip Girl has a dedicated fanbase and their popularity is quite fascinating. 

The show has a familiar nostalgia factor. Do you remember the time when we called them “camera phones” or today’s “influencers” were “socialites”? The show aired on the cusp of social media and accessibility before stars were sharing their every move. The mysterious intrigue is real. 

But the struggles of teenage years are timeless and too familiar; young love, scandal, tested friendships. Step into the bubble of the Upper East Side and tune the rest out for an episode (or season) or two.

Available on Netflix.

4. The Princess Bride: One for the kids and the adults

A princess … a giant … a sword fight showdown! Part fairytale, part adventure, part comedy. The Princess Bride is swashbuckling at its finest! There’s truly something for everyone and at any age. Share this one with the little ones in your life or with those who’ve never seen it (are they still out there?!). The Princess Bride has been described as one of the most iconic movies of all time. A true cult classic. It’s even been described to save lives! 

Available on Amazon Prime Video.

5. Choose Your Own: Your favorite ’80’s cult classic

We couldn’t decide on one. The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, The Goonies, Caddyshack – pick your favorite flavor of ’80’s splendor! A simpler time? Debatable. But I could easily get lost in that ’80’s look of high-waisted acid wash denim, neons, and huge hair for two hours.

Where to Watch

Here are a few places to watch all of your favorites (Offers subject to change). 

Netflix has a variety of plan options available and often offers the first month free with sign up.

Amazon Prime allows access to a bunch of free shows and movies, and more available to rent or buy.

Hulu offers a free 30-day trial for new subscribers. 

Disney + offers a free 7-day trial with sign up.

YouTube TV: Live TV from 70+ channels. Local sports & news. Share with your family with up to 6 accounts. Free trial available.

Tell us – what are some of your favorite comfort-watches we should check out? Let us know in the comments!