Christmas is my favourite holiday, and anyone who knows me is aware of how excited I get whenever it gets to that time of year. As such there is little I enjoy more than sitting down with my Christmas socks, Christmas t-shirt, Christmas jumper and a hot chocolate and indulging in a Christmas TV special. The best Christmas specials make you feel a little of that magic and good spirit that you felt when you were little. Here are some of my favourite suggestions, with a mixture of genre and tone to hopefully suit everyone.
Who doesn’t love a story with a good twist? It’s always fun to be surprised by the twists and turns in a story. The great thing about TV shows that incorporate twists is that, rather than having the one big reveal at the end of the movie, there often many twists over the episodes. I have tried to vary the genres and types of twists in these recommendations, so there will hopefully be something to suit your tastes.
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.
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;