After a hard day, week, or even a year, sometimes all you need to do is stick your eyes into your laptop screen and spend the entire night laughing, snorting, and crying over a comfort TV series or a feel-good film and teleport yourself into the fictional world where your everyday worries and issues don’t exist or matter.
Thankfully, Netflix is filled to the brim with heartwarming TV shows that envelop you like a hug whenever you want to abandon all your duties and tasks and just binge a show with ice cream, popcorn, or takeout to keep you company.
Schitt’s Creek (2015)
One of the funniest Canadian series in existence, Schitt’s Creek tells the story of the formerly wealthy Rose family, as they try to adjust to their new lives running a motel in a small Canadian town they bought for their son, David (Daniel Levy), back in the early 90s. When Moira (Catherine O’ Hara) and John (Eugene Levy, co-creator of the show and real-life father of Daniel Levy) move to Schitt’s Creek, with their daughter, Alexis(Annie Murphy), and son David in tow, they do not intend on staying long.
How their short stay leads to restarting life and rediscovering themselves is a sight to behold. Edgy and funny, the show is a wholesome package for when you want to escape reality for a while.
The Good Place (2016)
When Eleanor (Kristen Bell) discovers she has died and is now in a heaven-esque corner of the universe, she just knows it’s a mistake. When the neighborhood director Michael (Ted Danson) chooses her “soulmate” Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), she is certain something is gravely wrong. Soon, it is made clear that The Good Place is much more complicated than she might think.
In comparison to other shows about death and the afterlife, The Good Place is incredibly lighthearted, and each episode might be the most heartfelt 20 minutes you spend on Netflix.
The modern tale of saccharine love, Heartstopper follows Charlie (Joe Locke), a recently outed British gay teen who develops an unrequited crush on Nicholas “Nick” Nelson (Kit Connor), a straight jock at his all-boys grammar school. Despite his friends’ warnings, Charlie continues to lean into the crush, unlocking something in Nick he didn’t know existed.
Inspired by a webtoon and graphic novel of the same name, the show features characters of every gender and sexuality. The novel is squeal-worthy, and its TV adaptation has people of all ages swooning over Nick and Charlie.
New Girl (2011)
When freshly dumped elementary school teacher Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) moves into an apartment full of dude-bros who would rather do the bare minimum than make their apartment livable, chaos is guaranteed. An epic tale of clashing personalities and tumultuous messes, New Girl keeps you coming back for the cutesy individual relationships between the characters.
The cast is hysterical, and the hilarious will they, won’t they between Jess and cantankerous bartender roommate Nick (Jake Johnson) makes you want to rent a room in the apartment and never move out.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)
If you’re looking to laugh out loud enough to pee your pants, the police sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine is your show to go. From the writers of The Office and The Good Place, the police comedy features Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) as an immature yet high-achieving detective in the 99th precinct of the New York Police Department. His fun-loving life is shaken upon the arrival of Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), the first openly gay cop who intends to make the workplace serious, robotic, and in his own way, effective.
While the comedy and the drama are amusing, what keeps you hooked on the show are the wholesome friendships seeping through the show.
Dash & Lily (2020)
As bright and cheery as Christmas lights, Dash and Lily is a holiday teen rom-com based on David Levithan and Rachel Cohn‘s book Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. The series follows the budding romance between two New-York teens, Dash (Austin Abrams) and Lily (Midori Francis). Although they’ve never met, they keep fortuitously trading a notebook back and forth, sending each other on dares around the city during Christmastime. The holiday season doubles the magic of this whimsical tale of two teenagers discovering themselves and their love for each other.
With the power to lighten up the grumpy grinch, Dash and Lily is the secret to feel-good shows on Netflix.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015)
After being freed from being held captive by a doomsday cult leader for 15 years, Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) is left with a large sum of money and her entire life to figure out. Instead of going back to her Bunker Memories in Indiana, she decides to stay in New York City. When a penny-pinching, in-need-of-a-roommate Broadway actor, Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), takes her in and teaches her necessary life skills, the sky’s the limit for Kimmy.
Produced by Robert Carlock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidtclings to30 Rock‘s goofy sense of humor and drops the cynicism.
When an MRI scan goes wrong, Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy), a programmer and engineering manager at a tech firm that develops smartphones and applications, obtains the ability to hear other people’s innermost thoughts as popular songs. In one of the episodes in this current Silicon Valley turned Musical, Zoey is found listening to her Black co-worker Simon (John Clarence Stewart) as he dishes out his feelings about the company’s lack of racial diversity, a budding real-world problem in the tech industry.
With the new premise, and the ability to cover all-encompassing social issues without moralizing, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlistis an extraordinary show.
Jane The Virgin (2014)
The incredibly ridiculous story of an accidentally artificially inseminated virgin, Jane (Gina Rodriguez), raising a baby while simultaneously scampering between two vertices of a love triangle, Jane The Virgin is one of the funniest and most accurate shows on Netflix. The show demonstrates and emphasizes controversial topics like immigration reforms without moralizing.
Set in a world filled to the brim with drug lords, secret twins, evil professors, and a police department conspiracy, the show is simply adorable and makes you want to continue watching long after you’re so sleepy you could doze off standing. Jane the Virgin deserves immense praise for its bilingual storytelling and strong female relationships.
Queer Eye (2018)
Queer Eye is unequivocally Netflix’s most successful reality television series. A reboot of the 2000s series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer Eye hosts the Fab Five: experts Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, and Karamo Brown, who travel around the world and help people get their lives together. From advising about personal grooming, home renovation, style, food, and life, the show isn’t smooth sailing but is always well-intentioned.
Full disclosure: Gather your tissues and get ready to love this show through the tears.
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