When you aren’t feeling well, comfort is the top priority: soft, comfy clothes, warm and/or chocolatey comfort food, and happy, distracting comfort television.
For me, that means wacky half hour comedies, filled with absurd situations, pop culture references, wordplay, and the more running gags the better. These kinds of shows take my mind off feeling sick, make me laugh out loud, but they’re light enough that I can still keep up with the story if I fall asleep mid-binge.
As such, I’ve put together a list of my top comedies for feeling better.
1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This show jumps straight in to the crazy. Kimmy Schmidt is a mole woman, meaning she was kidnapped in the eighth grade and kept in a bunker for fifteen years by a cult leader, and she is determined to make a new life for herself in New York City, despite having no idea whatsoever of how the modern world works.
2. Parks and Recreation
The only reason Parks and Recreation isn’t number one is because it does take a little while to find its full personality and embrace the zaniness. Once it does though, prepare to treat yo’ self to literally one of the happiest shows ever. Local government has never been so entertaining.
3. New Girl
New Girl follows a group of dysfunctional thirty-something roommates in Los Angeles and their many shenanigans. Unlike some of the other shows on this list, New Girl knows from the beginning exactly who the characters are and how it wants to straddle the normal/silly line, which means you don’t have to wade through a lukewarm first half of season one before you get to the good stuff.
4. The Office
Like Parks and Recreation, The Office takes a few episodes to find itself, but once it does, it’s fantastic. I think the best example of how awesome The Office can be is exemplified in the post Super Bowl episode “Stress Relief”.
In the cold open alone, you get a fire, a cat-throwing, a person in the ceiling, and one of my favorite lines ever, “The fire is shooting at us!”
Community follows a study group at Greendale Community College. Greendale might not be the best school, but it is a fun one, with an annual paintball game that invariably goes too far, a cross-dressing dean who might love his school too much, a monkey that lives in the air ducts, and five alternate timelines. Community also utilizes a lot of meta-humor, which I love, including an entire clip-show episode in which all of the clips are from events that did not appear in any of the previous episodes.
6. 30 Rock
30 Rock follows the team behind a Saturday Night Live-esque sketch show on NBC, focusing on the creator, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), an extremely dysfunctional and awkward woman. Because it takes place in the world of show-biz, 30 Rock is often able to go to a level of crazy other shows can’t, and most of the episodes are pretty self-contained, so it’s a good option if you prefer bouncing around instead of binge watching full seasons in order.
With many, many daydreaming sequences, Scrubs is one of the kookiest shows out there, but it also has a bit of a dark side, which is why it isn’t higher on the list. Even though certain episodes will make you sad, Scrubs is still worth it, because every episode will make you laugh out loud.
8. Cougar Town
Once Cougar Town figures out that it actually has nothing to do with cougars, it’s a really fun, goofy show about a group of middle-aged neighbors who drink a lot of wine. Also, it gave the world Penny Can.
9. Angie Tribeca
Angie Tribeca is non-stop crazy. Puns, meta-humor, and ridiculously exaggerated situations all poke fun at cop show tropes to create a lot of entertaining and distracting nonsense.