Sometimes all you want to do is run away and have an adventure. While this is impractical for most people, TV can be a fantastic substitute for the real thing. I have tried to keep these recommendations varied in the types of adventure they provide, but there is no getting around the fact that the fantasy and science fiction genres are the best for creating that feeling of going on an epic adventure. These can be in the traditional quest stories, but can also take the form of stories with a great journey and high stakes. These recommendations should help if you want the feeling of a long journey to battle evil and save the world, or if you want a fun exploration through a fantastical world.
Sometimes there can be no better friend than fiction for when you feel lonely, whether because you feel separated from loved ones, don’t have anyone you feel especially close to or feel generally like an outsider. Everyone feels lonely at some point and I’ve found television to be a great help. There is a comforting sense of familiarity in returning to your favourite show each week, with the fictional world feeling like home and the characters becoming akin to close friends.
I’ve split this list into two separate categories. The first one being shows which help to create a sense of friendship and closeness with the characters, and the second being shows which feature a lonely or outsider character. The latter might be preferable if having a character to relate to is more important to your needs.
Horror-comedy is a genre I am particularly fond of. The blending of the two seemingly opposite genres can create a perfectly dark comedy, using comedy to highlight the silliness of the horror, and using horror to add pathos to the comedy. Unfortunately, it is a genre that doesn’t appear on television as often as the genres do separately. Ever rarer is the well done horror comedy. However, if you are in the mood for dark humour, genuine scares and big laughs, I have some suggestions;
I’m a big fan of the horror genre, but there inevitably comes a point of regret when I’m trying to sleep that night after seeing the latest horror offering in the cinema. Sometimes that regret even comes when you just terrified yourself in the daytime, but now have to cope with being home alone. Perhaps you aren’t a fan of horror but feel scared after witnessing a scary trailer or hearing a spooky story. Whatever the reason it’s easy to find yourself needing a reprieve from horror once in a while. I find that TV can be incredibly helpful in this, from shows that lighten the mood, to those that mock horror tropes, and even some that just distract you until the scary images seem less fresh and real. Here are some suggestions for shows that might help you sleep soundly after even the most terrifying of films;
TV can be very comforting to come home to after a day of work, particularly if you work in a stressful field or one you are not passionate about. When you come home tired, stressed or fed up it can be nice to treat yourself to great fiction to keep your thoughts positive or re-charge your energy. The shows that I have found useful for relaxing after work have tended to differ slightly from those that are useful for relaxing after university. While after university it can be best to watch something that won’t tempt you to keep watching after a couple of episodes, after work I have tended to gravitate towards shows I can marathon, since I have no work or studying to do when I get home. This means that shows with ongoing story arcs are more suited for this than after university. If you have a job that requires you to prepare outside of work then the suggestions for after university might suit you better.
Shows that allow you to escape into their story and encourage marathon viewing are great for getting your mind off of any negativity associated with your work. Alternatively if you do enjoy your job then these types of shows can also work as a treat for having put in good work for the day. I have found shows that allow me some escapism or are light-hearted are the best for relaxing after work. Sometimes worrying about the fate of a character in a fictional struggle helps to displace and bring a resolution to the feelings of worry I have for myself. With all of that in mind here are some suggestions;
When I was at university I found having a show to come home to was vital. It helped me relax, re-gain my energy after my long commute, keep me awake so I could study afterwards and establish a routine that was often comforting when faced with never-ending deadlines and stress. So if you want to have a TV show waiting to console you after a stressful day at university, I have some recommendations.
I found the best shows for post-university therapy were those that were high energy, so I didn’t fall asleep and miss studying later. Generally upbeat shows worked better, as they helped to lift my spirits and banish stress and worry. I’ve found shows with lots of episodes are best so I wouldn’t run out too fast or have to keep finding new shows while also trying to study. I also found that monster of the week episodes, those whose core conflict is solved by the end of the episode, tended to work better as I would stop watching after one or two. Shows that are more story-arc based with an ongoing story over multiple episodes would often make it all too tempting to keep watching and not get any work done.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions;