My Comfort TV

a 1970s style portable televisionHave you ever looked at the list of recorded programming on your digital recorder and thought, “No, I’m not in the mood for those”?

And then have you scrolled through your streaming service, looked at the list and said, “No I’m not in the mood for those either”? Me too.

It is no reflection on the quality of the shows whatsoever. To be honest, I do pick up new shows fairly regularly, and with great interest, to keep apprised of how the TV landscape and the screenwriting world are rapidly evolving.

But at one time or another, don’t we all have moments like that, like a teenager looking inside a fully stocked fridge and announcing, “There’s nothing to eat!”?

So what does one watch when that feeling strikes?

For me, I turn to what I call “Comfort TV” programs that are like a comfy pair of slippers or that cozy sweater. It is that list of shows that I may have already watched a few (dozen) times, but that I am always ready to watch again.

For some of those shows, they may represent a fun throwback to childhood.

For others, they just have a knack for tapping into something that strikes a chord, whether consistently tickling the funny bone or light, gentle, comforting storytelling.

Others are just timeless classics that are a joy to behold time and time again like a piece of art. Surprisingly, there are times when I might notice something new but from an older and wiser lens… or so I’d like to think.

My Comfort TV shows also serve a unique purpose when I am working in the kitchen. I find it difficult to immerse myself into new streaming content or network TV with appliances running, pots on the stove simmering, water running, or all of the above. Then when you add to the equation the step-by-step instructions of a recipe, it should come as no surprise that being fully present and in the moment to do justice to the programming isn’t entirely possible.

When that happens, I can easily miss some key elements and lose my opportunity to genuinely connect with the storyline and characters. I would prefer to do justice to a critically acclaimed and highly recommended show by giving it my full attention, rather than just lending one eye and one ear.

With Comfort TV shows, I already know the storylines and characters. Even if I miss a few lines here or a plot twist there, it won’t matter since I am already familiar and invested in the story. Also, even when I only get bits and pieces of set ups and punchlines, I can still laugh along as my brain fills in the blanks, based on my memory of previous viewings.

The best part of Comfort TV shows is that I can also select an episode of one of these programs when I feel a nap is imminent. There again, if I feel very relaxed, in my happy place, with the cat purring on my chest and I doze off, it won’t really matter. My memory will make up what I missed and the continuity of the story will be almost unbroken.

I cannot take credit for coining the phrase “Comfort TV” as the Internet is brimming with suggestions and lists of different Comfort TV shows. Upon reviewing several of them, I came to the conclusion that Comfort TV is truly in the eye of the beholder and very subjective.

Either way, it’s all about finding the right entertainment at the right time to complement one’s activities and/or mood.

These shows are 10 of my heart-felt Comfort TV favourites:

10- The Mary Tyler Moore Show
9- Will and Grace
8- The Bionic Woman
7- Downton Abbey
6- Batman
5- The Golden Girls
4- Vintage game shows like The Price is Right, Match Game and Tattletales.
3- The Nanny
2- Bewitched
1- Dallas

How about you? What are your favourite Comfort TV shows that you can watch again and again?

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Filed under 50+, pop culture, TV

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