The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday August 13th

Viewpoints: Our favorite feel-good TV shows

DTH Photo Illustration. Two people watch Avatar: the Last Airbender on a laptop.
Buy Photos DTH Photo Illustration. Two people watch Avatar: the Last Airbender on a laptop.

As college students, we’re prone to stress, anxiety and depression — especially during a pandemic. We have a lot on our plates, so it's easy to let ourselves succumb to the pressures of daily life. 

Still, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important. We all need a break every now and then, and sometimes there’s truly nothing better than curling up with our favorite snacks and squeezing in an episode or two of good television. 

Here are some TV shows that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face: 

Paige Masten, opinion editor: "Schitt's Creek"

I’m a sucker for a good drama (yes, I still watch “Grey’s Anatomy”), but I really love sitcoms. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or don’t want to be alone with my thoughts, they’re what I turn to for comfort. 

Lately, my favorite has been “Schitt’s Creek.” I binge-watched all six seasons during winter break, and I’ve been re-watching it ever since. It’s simultaneously hilarious and heartwarming, and it’s taken this year’s awards season by storm. From Moira's flair for the dramatic to Alexis' endearing cluelessness, the character development in this show is truly remarkable. 

Vance Stiles, Editorial Board member: "Ted Lasso"

Want to feel good about the world again? Then watch "Ted Lasso." 

Jason Sudeikis plays a happy-go-lucky football coach sent across the pond to coach a British soccer team. In his time there, we see him struggle with all aspects of the human experience —from a failing marriage, handling fatherhood from a distance and dealing with his job. But somehow, his plucky spirit carries him through each obstacle. 

This show is what carried me through winter break when COVID-19 was bleak and we were all isolated. Worth a watch, so grab some housemates and get ready to feel all the things. 

Abbas Hasan, Editorial Board member: "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

There is so much we could say about this TV show (in fact, we have). "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is the perfect show to watch anytime, but especially when you are stressed. Watching a group of kids take on the world will make you feel like you can do anything!

This show is the perfect combination of fantasy, comedy and drama. Plus, the show covers diverse themes, like love, friendship, war and even flying bison. This show carried me through my childhood and it’s a solid go-to when things get stressful. 

So, turn on Netflix, get comfy in bed and learn what happened when the Fire Nation attacked. 

Caitlyn Yaede, Editorial Board member: "New Girl"

I was really late to join the “New Girl” bandwagon, but it has become my go-to show whenever I have free time between Zoom classes. This sitcom is hilarious and a must-watch when you’re feeling down. Every character is lovable in their own way and the friendships and relationships between them make it hard to stop watching. Not to mention, it is ideal binge-watching length: short episodes with long seasons. 

JC Leser, Editorial Board member: "Psych"

A comedy, mystery and cop show all wrapped into one. The light comedy of the show is similar to the tone in one of my other favorite shows, "Ted Lasso." 

James Roday Rodriguez plays the hyperaware son of a former cop who passes off his abilities as psychic. His lifelong best friend, pharmaceutical salesman and now “psychic detective” business partner, Burton “Gus” Guster, is played by one of my favorite actors, Dulé Hill (who was also in "Suits"). 

If you want something that can keep you intrigued but also make you laugh, "Psych" is the show for you. This eight-season show also has two movies — watch sequentially, or you will be lost.

Callie Xu, Editorial Board member: "Bob's Burgers"

The ultimate comfort show. What other show can encompass Louise’s witty one-liners, Tina’s teenage angst and Gene’s (borderline) crude jokes about the human body in the span of a single episode? And, the icing on the cake — the depiction of a loving father figure who cares for his family unconditionally. 

There’s a lot of adult animation out there, but there’s no show quite like "Bob’s Burgers." I always come back to rewatch this show — whether I’m trying to evoke a sense of nostalgia from when I first watched it in high school, or if I’m simply looking for something I can listen to casually while multitasking. 

Rajee Ganesan, assistant opinion editor: "Sherlock"

The story of Sherlock Holmes is one that has been cinematized multiple times, but none do it quite as well as the BBC rendition. The show features the enigmatic Benedict Cumberbatch, and his on-screen relationship with Martin Freeman makes the show humorous and emotional. 

While the series definitely acts as a gateway to the dozens of murder mysteries and crime documentaries Netflix has to offer, the intellectual breakdown of unsolved crimes (fictional or not) is something that can pique anybody’s interest.

Ben Rappaport, Editorial Board member: "Portlandia"

A place where the dream of the '90s is still alive and noodle monsters run wild. There is nothing more hilariously soothing than the sketch comedy of "Portlandia." I binged three seasons of it while I was isolated in my room after testing positive for COVID-19, and it got me through my illness.

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s satirical spoofs and outlandish sketches make each episode uniquely funny as they tackle all the conundrums of modern suburban life. This is the perfect show to shut down your brain and laugh along with. 

Josiah Townsend, Editorial Board member: "Prison Break"

Ever think you would be rooting for the "bad guys"? When Michael Scofield's brother gets framed for a murder he did not commit, Michael gets himself incarcerated at the same prison with a plan: to break them out. 

Romance, action, drama — the show truly has it all. Each episode ends with a thrilling cliffhanger, which will leave you eager for more, wondering how they will evade yet another seemingly hopeless situation. This show consumed my winter break, and will keep you hooked until the very end.


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