10 TV shows to bring you comfort


Photo: Lucia Thorne

By Rachel Hackam

As the semester gets busier and stress levels rise during midterms, many turn to their favorite TV shows for a source of comfort in these chaotic times. Maybe you’re looking for something familiar to watch with your friends to unwind after a long week, or a new show to binge over spring break. The Beacon has you covered with a list of 10 comfort shows to cheer you up and get you through the end of winter. 

Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Filled with witty banter, coffee, and fall feels, Gilmore Girls is the definition of a comfort show. Set in Stars Hollow, we follow Lorelai and Rory Gilmore as they navigate life, love, and family drama. Available on Netflix and best enjoyed with a cup of coffee, cozy blankets, and warm chocolate-chip cookies, this heart-warming show brings positive vibes to any dark day (as long as you’re not team Dean). 

New Girl (2011-2018)

The show is set following an ugly breakup, where Jess moves into a loft with three guys she met online, answering their ad for another roommate. Despite a rocky first week, the inhabitants of the loft become a family. Filled with friendship, romance, and jars, watching New Girl feels like a warm hug from a far away friend. New Girl is available to stream on Netflix. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-2021)

Following the detectives of New York Police Department’s 99th precinct, Brooklyn Nine-Nine brings much-needed relief from stressful days. Focused on light-hearted workplace drama, “perfect” relationships, and forever friends, this show also sheds light on serious issues with laughter and kindness. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is available on Hulu. 

Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)

Another workplace comedy, this time set in the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. Available on Peacock, starring Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman with Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, and Rob Lowe, viewers will fall in love with this quirky cast of characters. Leslie Knope’s ambition coupled with Ron Swanson’s hatred of government will warm even the coldest of hearts, making it the perfect show for a chilly day. 

Criminal Minds (2005-2020)

A bit of a darker show, this drama shouldn’t really be a comfort show, but the charismatic cast and formulaic structure allow for easy viewing. Following a team of FBI profilers who work to track down serial killers, this show is filled with suspense and drama. Despite the scary situations, the loveable team and witty banter make even the creepiest episodes (*cough* “The Lesson” *cough*) a bit more bearable. The first 12 seasons are available on Netflix, and seasons 13 through 15 can be viewed on Hulu. 

Arrested Development (2003-2019)

Another comedy, Arrested Development follows a dysfunctional family just trying to piece their life back together after their father was arrested for white-collar crimes. Filled with family fun, this show can be viewed on Netflix, and is perfect for when you need a break. 

Community (2009-2015)

After losing his job, a lawyer is forced to enroll at a community college where he meets an interesting batch of students. Through study sessions, the students not only learn their coursework, but about themselves as well. Available on Netflix, Community will brighten your spirits, drawing you out of your winter slump, or a nice escape from your current college experience. 

Grey’s Anatomy (2005-)

Another show that probably shouldn’t be a comfort show due to the heart-wrenching cases and suspenseful surgeries. However, Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsy will have you feeling all the feels in this medical drama. With a revolving cast and never-ending seasons, Grey’s Anatomy is available on Netflix. 

The Office (2005-2013)

At Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, a documentary crew comes to film Michael Scott and his unusual bunch of employees. Starring Steve Carell and John Krasinski, each episode contains drama, jokes, and eye-rolls. Available on Peacock, this workplace comedy will enlighten you to the power of friendship among co-workers.

Friends (1994-2004)

Set in New York City, a group of 20-somethings navigates life, love, and careers. This lighthearted show focuses on a “found family,” emphasizing the importance of a good support system when navigating adulthood. Available on HBO Max, this classic sitcom will bring a smile to your face. 

Did your favorite comfort show make the list? Hopefully, you found something new to watch or reconnected with an old favorite. Happy viewing!