Four comfort shows to watch while eating

Design: Faisal Bin Iqbal

Highly charged shows with extremely intricate plotlines are fun to watch. It is even more fun to discuss or rather argue, said plotlines with others on the internet. Despite that, everyone needs a break from using their brains from time to time and to just watch something while having their meals that require no effort whatsoever on their part.

That is where comfort shows come in.

While everyone has their own preferred type, most people feel drawn towards sitcoms or reality television to fulfil the void which can only be filled through the power of a comfort show.

Here are four shows that you might want to check out if you are in search of one to fill that void in your life.

Fresh Off the Boat

Following a Taiwanese-American family trying to establish a life for themselves in Orlando, Fresh Off the Boat explores the American attitude towards culture, race, and identity in the 1990s. However, being a sitcom, it never does so self-importantly.

The behaviours of the family members towards each other and other people in their daily lives, coupled with their experiences, give us a glimpse into the intimate workings of the family. The characters are shown as being fallible and it is because of their imperfections that a viewer cannot help but love them. In addition, the characters and the situations they are put into are incredibly relatable, making them easy to invest in.

House M.D.

Even though this is not a very typical pick for this list, any fan of House M.D. will tell you that it is the ultimate comfort show. It is a medical drama and some might say that makes it high-charged but that is not true. Yes, it is filled with medical jargon at every turn but a lack of knowledge of that does nothing to affect the viewing experience.

The characters are ones you get to know very rapidly and the setting becomes familiar almost instantaneously. Each episode follows the main cast as they navigate their internal dynamics while dealing with a medical case. The show utilises a healthy dose of suspense to keep the viewers hooked till the end, making House M.D. a unique blend of intelligence and comfort.

Downton Abbey

What can be more comforting than watching a British aristocratic family trying to keep themselves rich and all their household staff being equally invested in helping them do so? Nothing.

Revolving around the lives of the Crawley family and their househelp, Downton Abbey is a near-perfect mix of Jane Austen-esque love drama and Charles Dickens-ish struggles of the lower classes. It has its moments of sadness, happiness, humour, frustration and tension. The characters are flawed, deeply so, but there is something soothing about watching them make life-altering mistakes and then rectify them.

How I Met Your Mother

The premise of HIMYM is deceptively simple. It is about five friends going about their lives in New York, trying to find personal and professional success while keeping their interpersonal relationships intact. But this simplicity is seasoned with well-fleshed-out, lovable characters and a satisfying overarching storyline that is easy to follow, making HIMYM an ideal comfort watch. 

While writing this listicle, I was in a fix over whether to include HIMYM or Friends. Even though some might argue that HIMYM is just Friends but set in a bar instead of a coffee shop, I disagree. Both are problematic shows in their own regard. One lacks diversity, and the other has Barney Stinson. However, HIMYM has personality and flavour and jokes that people can actually laugh at; all things that Friends are painfully devoid of.

Zaima is a struggling student, a failed guitarist and a poet in need of better poetic ideas. Send her your sympathies at [email protected]


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