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The Rec League: Comfort Shows on Netflix or Hulu?

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http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/recleague-147x150.png This request comes from Juhi, from the comments to my recent recommendation of Midnight Diner on Netflix:

Would you please do an open thread asking for comforting shows on Netflix/Hulu?

I would love to get more recs along GBBO, The Babysitter’a Club lines, shows that feel comforting and fill me with so many good feelings!

We sure can! Strap in, because, whew, do we have recs for you.

Sarah: Crass, funny, but good feelings all over the place: Letterkenny (Hulu).

Elyse: It’s on Apple TV but Ted Lasso will warm your heart and make you laugh.

Sarah: Many a person has suggested signing up for a free trial of Apple + TV and watching it before cancelling.

Elyse: Making It (Hulu) is also really comforting. It’s a crafting show with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

Tara: Seconding Ted Lasso! Also, Schitt’s Creek.

It’s quite old and from the UK, but if they haven’t seen Gavin and Stacey, that’s one of my favourite shows ever. It has so much heart and its hilarious too.

Sarah:  I’ll be honest: I tried two episodes of Schitt’s Creek and really struggled. Is there a point at which it starts to turn?

Claudia: I had the same experience and heard/read after first season

Elyse: It took me well into season 2.

Amanda: This is cheating but also seconding Elyse’s suggestion of Ted Lasso on Apple TV. It’s the most comforting show I’ve seen. Most of the time, I’m watching Fargo or some horror movie, which is not the assignment here.

Tara:I had a hard time with Schitt’s Creek at first too, but I stayed with a friend (before quarantimes) and she sat me down and we just powered through and it became wonderful.

Shana: I would second Gavin and Stacey. That show is just adorable, I rewatched it last year.

Black Love (on Hulu) is the sweetest show, I watch it when I need a reminder that love is real, or just to see people caring for one another.

Aarya introduced me to Julie and the Phantoms last year: it’s about a teen who befriends a boy band of ghosts from the 90s. I found it super comforting and cute, but there are some storylines around grief, so it may not work for everyone.

Oh, and how about Kim’s Convenience?

Amanda: Noooo Shana! Too sooooon!

Shana: I know…but I haven’t gotten to the last season so I’m still riding the high.

Amanda: Netflix especially has a lot of low drama wholesome reality competitions.

Tara:  The Great Canadian Baking Show is also wonderful and Dan Levy co-hosts the first two seasons.

Claudia: For the laughs and baking, I love Nailed It.

Watch for Nicole Byer alone


Also Queer Eye, especially the middle seasons.

Maya: On Netflix, comforting cartoons I love include Magic School Bus, One Punch Man, Super Hero Girls, Avatar the Last Airbender.

Netflix has old (1994-1997) and new (Magic School Bus Rids Again) seasons of Magic School Bus and it’s always perfect for adults looking to engage with some low-stress nostalgia edutainment and great for kids who never saw the original run.

One Punch Man is this very funny anime about this guy, Saitama, who is a hero that can defeat anyone with one punch. It’s definitely not as chill as Magic School Bus, but Saitama is very funny as he tries to make a living as a paid hero. Season 1 is amazing, but in Season 2 they changed both the production company and director and the resulting product just wasn’t as wonderful.

Super Hero Girls is perfect for any DC fans who think all the movies are entirely too grimdark. The show stars teen Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Bumblebee, Supergirl, Green Lantern, and Zatanna as they manage their superhero identities, high school, and fighting teen villains (like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn!). It’s all very upbeat and kind (Batgirl and Harley Quinn’s non-super identities are besties!). The stakes are low and jokes are numerous!

Also, Beyonce’s Homecoming.

And Sister, Sister!!!!!!!

Tara: Oh, my daughter loves the Super Hero Girls graphic novels! I should see if we get the show on Netflix Canada!

Maya: For reality tv, I love Grand Designs and Forged in Fire. Grand Designs follows people as they build homes that tend to be architecturally interesting in some way. It’s perfect as background tv or something that you aren’t paying all your attention to.

I am mildly(?) obsessed with Forged in Fire! It’s a reality tv competition show where people (ok, mostly White men) compete to make edged weapons! The competitors are all very kind to each other, so there is no manufactured by the producers unnecessary drama to roll your eyes at. Just people making pretty sharp things! That the judges try to destroy! The original host’s (Will Willis) very self-conscious performance of masculinity took me a bit to get used to, but the judges are a delight.

It’s on both Netflix and Hulu!

Lara: I endorse Gavin and Stacey whole heartedly. Also, The Detectorists and Partners in Crime on Acorn TV.

Maya: On Hulu, there’s Drunk History, which is basically drunk people telling you stories that are then recreated on screen with famous people acting it out. It is chaotic and hilarious.

Hulu also has Steven Universe and Adventure Time, which are both really special shows that will change your life. Not to oversell or anything. But seriously, they are really complex and kind cartoons that are perfect for any kind of audience.

Tara: Oh yes! We watched through all of Steven Universe with our kids and it’s WONDERFUL.

Maya: And Gravity Falls!! It sometimes get less adoring hype than Steven Universe and Adventure Time, but it tells a really great story about twins spending the summer right before they turn 13 with their great uncle (Grunkle Stan). There’s magic and mythical beasts and twins figuring out how to be two separate people, with different identities and interests.

Show Spoiler


And finally, Angie Tribeca. It’s this weird sitcom starring Rashida Jones filled with silly puns and sight gags that is very much a throwback to Airplane and Naked Gun. It might take an episode or two to get use the rhythm, but it is very silly and totally stress-free and I’ve watched all four seasons more than once.

(basically, for most of this pandemic, I have not had the attention span for books)

Lara: Another favorite comfort view: Kath & Kim. The Australian one. Watched it multiple times and it’s excellent medicine

Catherine: I’m not sure if The Great British Sewing Bee is on Netflix or if one has to watch it via other methods, but it is very soothing and surprisingly compelling even to someone like me who has absolutely no interest in sewing.

Maya: Oh wow that sounds AMAZING and it’s definitely not on US Netflix (because I would be watching it right now)

Catherine: They have to make garments and remake old garments and it is fabulous.

Maya: WAIT! I forgot that there’s an episode of Angie Tribeca where Maya Rudolph guest stars as a romance author helping Angie solve a case.

Maya is, unsurprisingly, perfection and all I want now is a way better version of Castle starring Maya Rudolph as the very horny, but also very astute judge of human behavior assisting the NYPD while also selling her romance novels.

Maya Rudolph is a treasure


Shana: Daaaammmmn.

Ellen: HBO max has 12 Dates of Christmas, which is a pretty silly and sweet reality TV dating show about the holidays. There’s some drama but it all feels very low-stakes, plus there are some genuinely sweet romantic connections that form.

Hulu has Sailor Moon (always original, not the remake!), which is a huge comfort watch for me. It’s basically all about teen girls using the power of love to create justice and I am INTO THAT. Plus the animation is beautiful. The background work alone!

What about you? What comforting shows can you recommend for Juhi? 

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