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Image / Editorial

Comforting classic series we would definitely binge if they were on Netflix


by Erin Lindsay
07th May 2020

THE GOLDEN GIRLS -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Betty White as Rose Nylund -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

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Classic, comforting, and the perfect way to wind down the day — these are the comfort watches we’d love to see on Netflix


At this stage, we’ve watched all the action, thrillers and documentaries on Netflix right now. Is a comforting series we’ve seen a million times too much to ask for?

Granted, Netflix does already hold its fair share of comfort watches. Friends and Gilmore Girls have already become fast favourites of mine, ditching the new selection of incredible serious dramas for the same safe comedy I’ve watched all my life.

It’s been shown that, when times are particularly rough politically and culturally, people turn to comfort TV rather than dedicating time to a hard-hitting new series. Late last year, the Guardian published a piece reporting on how Netflix consistently caters to those who want comfort watches, paying huge money to secure series like Friends, to alleviate anxieties about increasingly difficult outside situations (Trump, Brexit and climate change, to name a few).

Who could have predicted that in 2020, we faced our biggest external challenge yet, literally forcing us inwards towards our TV’s? We need comfort TV more than ever, and I’m hoping we’ll get a few more great series on Netflix before the year is out.

Here are a few that I’m wishing for.

Golden Girls

Seven glorious seasons of four friends absolutely making sh*te of each other — what could be better than Golden Girls? The series follows Blanche (a Southern belle), Rose (a little dim), Dorothy (recently divorced) and Sophia (Dorothy’s overbearing mother), as they navigate their golden years together while never once losing their friendship or their sense of humour. It’s hilarious and the perfect remedy to a bad day.

Frasier

Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammar, is a psychologist who hosts a radio call-in show, while navigating dating, friendships and dealing with his eccentric family in Seattle. Frasier is actually a spin-off of the equally great comfort watch Cheers, but we tend to prefer the high-brow laughs from Frasier, his brother Niles, dad Martin and housekeeper Daphne.

Malcolm in the Middle

Malcolm in the Middle is criminally underrated and deserves the same level of praise as Friends, The Simpsons and everything else that was on TV in the early 2000’s. Starring Frankie Muniz and a pre-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, the show follows Malcolm, a gifted student who comes from a less-than-refined family. Malcolm tries to deal with his genius intelligence while surrounded by annoying (Dewey), dumb (Reese) and downright insane (Lois) family members, with truly hilarious results. While chaotic and loud, the family does pathos like few others on TV, and mam and dad Hal and Lois are one of the best examples of a loving marriage on screen. The episode where Hal teaches Malcolm to skate (above) is worth watching the whole series alone.

Sex and the City

Okay, I’m the first to admit that a lot of the storylines in Sex and the City did not age well. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte’s (to a lesser extent) antics are often a bit cringey by 2020 standards, but keeping in mind that the show was groundbreaking for the time, there is something comforting about returning to the foursome’s friendship. Yes, Big is obnoxious, yes, Charlotte is twee, and yes Carrie is an awful person, but a show about female friendship, breaking down sexual barriers and encouraging openness about relationships is a great way to spend your downtime.

The West Wing

One to watch if you want to feel a bit more productive with your TV time — a show about politics can be educational, with all the juicy drama you’d expect from any other show. The West Wing balances drama with comfort perfectly — set in the White House during the administration of Democratic president Jed Bartlett, it has a huge cast with plenty of room for great storylines to flourish. The West Wing, unlike some other shows on the list, doesn’t provide comfort at the expense of quality — it’s consistently been named as one of the best TV series of all time, and regularly received praise from insiders at the real White House for its true-to-life plots. Following the actions of President Bartlett, speech writer Toby and press secretary C.J (played by Alison Janney, so you can’t say no), it’s a must-watch.

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