By Peyton Smith
With finals coming up, we are all familiar with late-night study sessions that make us want to cry. A huge stress reliever for myself and many of my peers is to watch TV to ease our mind for a bit. The benefits of streaming services are unparalleled when it comes to quick access and having a plethora of options to choose from. During these stressful times, you don’t want to watch shows that could make you even more emotional, like Game of Thrones. Here are five light-hearted comedies that allow you to sit back, relax and take your mind off school.
1. Broad City
This series is created by and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as semi-fictionalized versions of themselves and is executive produced by Amy Poehler, so you know it’s going to be good. It follows the hilarious antics of the two 20-something girls as they try to navigate their lives in New York City. They are pretty broke, and they get themselves into some messy situations as a result of this. But they are both determined to have the best time they can on their budget. Broad City is available to stream on Hulu and the free Comedy Central app.
2. Schitt’s Creek
This sitcom, hot off its clean sweep at the 2020 Emmys, follows a wealthy couple and their two adult children as they suddenly find themselves completely broke. Johnny, a video store magnate, and Moira, an ex-soap opera star, have one last asset, a small town called Schitt’s Creek. The town was purchased as joke years earlier, but is now all they have left to their name. They are forced to move there and try to overcome their newfound poverty. They are trying to make it out together as a family, even though they have many differences. Let this one build though, the best seasons are the final three where they really cement the tone of the show, which results in something truly special. This complete series can be streamed on Netflix, with the 6th and final season having just been added.
This new comedy series depicts the most real-life version of middle school that television has ever seen. Starring and produced by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, the two play younger versions of themselves as outcasts in the year 2000. The show follows the two girls as they battle all of the ups and downs of being a teenager; first kisses, dating, and everything in-between complete with braces and hair barrettes galore. The two real life thirty-somethings are surrounded by a cast of actual middle schoolers (but don’t worry- adult body doubles are used in any kissing scenes!) yet somehow manage to blend in seamlessly. It is painfully awkward and accurate in the best way possible. Season two has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but season one and the first half of season two are available to stream on Hulu.
Issa Rae creates and stars in this HBO series (and 2020 Emmy nominee for Best Comedy) that follows best friends Issa and Molly, who are both in their late 20s, as they deal with the insecurities that come along with being Black women in America. They live in Los Angeles and the everchanging feel of the city makes it even more difficult for them to conquer their relationships and careers. They struggle with themselves, their friendships, and the African American community as a whole. The show explores social, racial and gender issues and is available to stream on HBO Max.
5. The Office
Of course, you can’t have a list of comedy shows without including the best one of all, The Office. Frankly, if you haven’t binge watched this comedy at least once by now, you might have been living under a rock for the past 10 years. Set at a paper company in Scranton, Pa., the mockumentary depicts everyday life in an office setting. This show has completely blown up since it was added to Netflix, which is great for a show that struggled to stay on air season-to-season early on in its run. It always puts you in a good mood and has everything that a comedy needs: romance, awkwardness, crudeness and different dynamics. I would even go as far as to say that it is the show of our generation. Feel free to skip the last two seasons without Steve Carell as they fall completely flat in trying to compensate for his absence. Nothing can beat the sheer cringe inducing antics of Michael Scott and the Dunder Mifflin crew; it’s like visiting an old friend.
By now, you have at least five shows to watch on your breaks. Whether they are new shows that you haven’t seen yet, or ones that you’ve watched repeatedly, they will all do the job of easing your mind and providing you with an outlet to break away from school for a few hours. Grab a snack, cozy up with a blanket and get lost in another world for a while, the homework can wait.
For more suggestions on what to watch, visit https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/what-to-watch.
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