Eight feel-good series to binge right now
These upbeat series will help you stay positive during these trying times.
Parks and Recreation
Led by relentlessly optimistic government employee Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), the brilliant Parks and Recreation is warm, very funny and absolutely bursting with memorable characters who genuinely seem to like and want the best for each other.
Another part of Parks and Recreation’s charm is the way that it really fleshes out its colourful small town setting and has some great recurring side characters, like sex-crazed libarian Tammy (Megan Mullally), deadpan news anchor Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) and spoiled siblings Jean Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) and Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate).
Unlike the once-great Family Guy which can often seem quite mean spirited, Bob Burgers is a weird, wacky and very funny animated series about a family running a restaurant who love and support each other no matter what.
Siblings, fan-fiction obsessed Tina (Dan Mintz), the musical Gene (Eugene Mirman) and budding sociopath Louise (Kristen Schaal), might be very different but they’re always a united front and some of the best episodes come from when they team up for a new scheme.
The beloved 90s sitcom, which has enjoyed a spike in popularity amongst those too young to have seen it the first time around since its addition to Netflix a few years ago, is for many people the ultimate comfort show.
A lot of its appeal comes from its hugely charismatic, likeable cast and the genuine connection that they seem to share. It’s five people that you genuinely enjoy spending time and want to succeed like a group of well… friends.
Created by Eugene Levy and his son Dan, Schitt’s Creek is one of Netflix’s hidden gems. The story of the formerly wealthy Rose family being forced to move to the titular country town is a joy to watch managing to be absolutely hilarious and heartfelt at the same time.
The family gradually learns to be better people and develop really relatable, fun relationships with each other. Something else that’s got a lot of attention is David’s coming out which is handled fantastically with everybody else being open and accepting in a way that’s really uplifting to see.
The Good Place
The Good Place begins life as one thing, an enjoyably sunny and absurd series about the hilariously awful Eleanor (Kristen Bell) accidentally getting sent up to heaven, and after a genre-shattering twist evolves into something unique, smart and incredibly philosophical.
As well as giving you something to think about, it also contains plenty of comfortably familiar tropes present in all of Micheal Schur’s sitcoms (he also co-created Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine Nine) like a great sense of optimism and warm, loving friendships.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tina Fey’s acclaimed sitcom uses it’s rather dark premise, Kimmy (a delightful Ellie Kemper) moves to New York after being held captive in a bunker for fifteen years by a cult leader, to create a sweet, enjoyably earnest and always cheerful character who’s working really hard to forge her own path.
Kimmy is joined by bored housewife Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) who employs her as a nanny and her roommate, the fabulous, endlessly GIF-able actor Titus (Tituss Burgess). The show also boasts a sharp, brilliantly weird sense of humour and some excellent blink-and-you’ll-miss them visual background jokes.
Netflix’s reboot of the popular early 2000s makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is, like the similarly comforting Great British Bake Off and its brilliantly chaotic Comic Relief celebrity specials, the rare example of a feel-good reality show.
The new Fab Five are fun and effortlessly charming, earnestly imparting words of wisdom to those they’re making over without ever seeming condescending, and it’s genuinely uplifting to see people overcome their personal anxieties to become much more happy and confident.
The Office US
American adaptations of British TV shows are known for being almost universally terrible, but The Office US is able to evolve into its own fantastic series by adopting a much warmer tone and its own quirky sense of humour with great characters like Dwight (Rainn Wilson).
The romance between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) is allowed to sweetly blossom and while Micheal Scott (Steve Carrell) starts off being the boss from hell, the huge number of episodes allow him to develop into a much more likeable, complex character.