Five Wholesome Shows to Watch This Winter Break
With the semester nearly over and lockdown still in place, here are some feel-good shows to sink your teeth into this winter.
By Julie Toft Carlsen
Credit: POP TV
This semester has been very different and difficult for everyone. The world has been turned upside-down and for the first time in all of our lifetimes, each and every one of us are impacted by this. Some people like to deal with this by watching stuff that fills them with sadness, anxiety, anger or fear, maybe to help them process their emotions, maybe to remind themselves that things could be worse. And if that’s what you like, then please, enjoy.
Personally, I prefer to watch things that take my mind off my worries and make me laugh, and if I feel worry or sadness for the characters, I trust the showrunners to end the emotional rollercoaster on a wholesome note. Life is hard and scary enough already, treat yourself this Winter Break with some good wholesome content to keep you company. There are the classics like Friends, Seinfeld and Gilmore Girls, but below are shows you might have heard about but never got round to watching – if you were looking for a sign to start them, then this is it!
So, without further ado, here are 5 shows to keep you company this winter:
One Day at a Time (2017-)
Based on Norman Lear’s 70s sitcom of the same name, this Netflix Original Series follows the life of a Cuban-American family in LA. Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado), a war veteran and nurse, lives with her mother (the iconic Rita Moreno) and her two children in Echo Park, and is just trying to deal with life one day at a time. In many ways it’s a classic 20-minute sitcom like we know from the 90s, but it manages to create rich and complex characters out of common sitcom tropes and deal with important issues in a very grounded manner.
WATCH THIS IF: you enjoy good character-driven comedy, own-voice stories and critical society commentary. Also Rita Moreno breaking into a questionable mambo any chance she gets.
Seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix. Season 4 is available on POP TV.
The Good Place (2016-2020)
Created by Michael Schur (Parks and Rec, The Office), this is a fantasy comedy show about life after death. Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) wakes up and finds herself in The Good Place, a heaven-like afterlife, but having lived a morally questionable life she quickly realises that she is a case of mistaken identities and actually belongs in The Bad Place. As she tries to navigate her false existence, she begins to question whether the guy in charge, Michael (Ted Danson), is hiding something from the residents of The Good Place.
WATCH THIS IS: you want a show that will make you belly-laugh, has great character development and is so full of original ideas that it will keep you guessing what might happen next.
Seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix.
This Is Us (2016-)
This is the only drama on this list and will appeal to those who might want something with a little more emotional punch. The show follows the story of the Pearson family, jumping back and forth through time to show everything from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) growing up, falling in love and raising their kids in the 1960s-90s, to the lives of their grown-up children in present-day. Episodes explore different characters’ point of view and emotional journeys, as you find yourself cheering on their victories and crying when they’re hurting.
WATCH THIS IF: you want a show that lets you submerge yourself into the fictional lives of others. Despite the emotional gut-punches, every episode will leave you with a warm feeling inside.
Seasons 1-4 are currently available, with season 5 episodes released weekly on Amazon Prime UK.
Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)
A billionaire family go bankrupt after falling victims to a Ponzi scheme, and are left with only a suitcase each and the deed to a small town named Schitt’s Creek. Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara) move into the local motel in town, with their adult kids (Dan Levy, Annie Murphy) in an adjoining room, and they all have to try and establish new lives for themselves in this town full of eccentric characters.
WATCH THIS IF: you like absurd fish-out-of-water comedy and stellar ensemble cast of eccentric characters, akin to the townspeople of Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls).
Seasons 1-6 are currently available on Netflix UK.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-)
A sitcom following the detectives of the 99th precinct of the NYPD. A fast-paced and witty comedy with a refreshingly diverse cast, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is perhaps the ultimate pick-me-up after a long semester. Each character dynamic will leave you wanting more, and the outstanding star-studded cast (Andy Samberg, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher, to name a few!) are almost guaranteed to make you smile.
WATCH THIS IF: you enjoy ensemble comedy and want short, easily digestible 20-minute episodes that still form interesting character arcs and storylines over the course of each season.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine seasons 1-6 are currently available on Netflix UK.