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October 4, 2015

The Five: Comfort shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 18th 2006 8:59AM

West Wing DVDsWe've all heard of "comfort foods," those foods that we always return to, the ones that we love and make us feel good and maybe even bring back good memories. But TV shows can be the same way. They might not be our "favorite" shows (though they very well could be), but they certainly make us feel so good we want to keep watching them (and now with DVDs, it's even easier). Here are mine:

1. The Dick Van Dyke Show: My favorite TV show of all time, but it's also a feel-good show: a positive family show and a clever showbiz show at the same time. A childhood favorite that never lost any appeal for me, even as I became an adult.

2. The West Wing: this is one of the very, very, very few shows that I can watch over and over again. I'm talking about the same episodes over and over again. I have the DVDs and I often find myself watching the same exact episodes from the first three seasons. Aaron Sorkin's words are like music, the acting is flawless, and there's something so unbelievably comforting about that workplace and those people.

3. Ed: The last season wasn't too hot, but the first two seasons of this show has such a great atmosphere to it and the writing/cast are so great I often return to it.

4. Star Trek: TNG: Reminds me of where I was living in the early 90s, with my best friend and other college students, watching this and ordering subs and Chinese food and hanging out. It's funny: sure this show has aliens and photon torpedo battles and planets exploding, but really, it's a warm workplace comedy about a bunch of coworkers who care about one another. It just happens to take place in outer space.

5. The Andy Griffith Show: I'm not really a small-town sort of guy, but if I was, I'd want to live in Mayberry.

Damn, no room for the CBS Saturday night lineup of The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Bob Newhart Show/Carol Burnett Show when I was a kid. Oh well.

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I have one official comfort show. (Is it sad for a person who watches maybe an hour of television a week to frequent a television blog? Probably. There's no way I could come up with five.) Wonderfalls.

This is kind of (very) grim, but the evening of the day my grandfather died, I stayed home while my dad went out to help make arrangements. It was a Friday, and Wonderfalls was airing. Might have been its last airing (in the States, at least) though I can't remember for sure. Anyway, I recorded it on VHS. Watched the broadcast, and then the recording maybe twice in succession. That was my one comfort that day.

Yep. Wonderfalls. Comfort show.

January 18 2006 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 18 2006 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My comfort shows really go in cycles.

i. Seinfeld will always be up there, I used to watch it every day, now I just watch a huge batch every couple of months or so.
ii. The Simpsons, although I have to make sure to avoid the last 5 years or so.
iii. The West Wing, you don't even have to watch you can just listen, I often fall asleep listening to the dialogue.
iv. I used to watch Northern Exposure a hell of a lot but when I dumped my vhs that stopped, the dvd's have been too expensive to justify so far.
v. There are a load of other shows that whilst I wouldn't put them on my list of best shows they are ones I watch a lot when I just want something unchallenging, Home Improvement is one I've been catching a lot lately but I could also mention things like M*A*S*H, The Cosby Show, Cheers - mostly sitcoms.

On the homegrown front you can't beat Father Ted, Porridge, BlackAdder, Only Fools & Horses and Spaced.

There are also those shows that are on regularly so although I don't watch repeats I can always rely on them to entertain me: Letterman, Conan, The Daily Show (and now The Colbert Report) and from the UK I lover Soccer A.M.

Brought to you by Gravy. mmmm. Northern boys love gravy.

And down south. Light. Drizzle.

January 18 2006 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My top five would be....

1. Doctor Who (classic series)
2. Star Trek
3. Seinfeld
4. Happy Days
5. Buffy

January 18 2006 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Malfoy R

My list is only 3:
1. West Wing
2. Friends
3. Oh yea and any Texas Holdem on tv :)

January 18 2006 at 9:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lacy Hall

1) Smallville
2) 227
3) Family Feud
4) Alf
5) Golden Girls

January 17 2006 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1. The Dick Van Dyke Show. The quality over all five seasons was consistently and dependably high. I can count on one hand the episodes that I didn't like. Compare that to other shows that jumped the shark because they went on way, way too long. And to my mind, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore are the best leads ever to grace a comedy series. (I liked the Mary Tyler Moore Show too, but I would label it as groundbreaking as opposed to a favorite).
2. The Carol Burnett Show. It's too bad we will never be able to see the musical numbers they did because of copyright issues.
3. The Red Skelton Show. Long gone, but not forgotten. Red's pantomime sketches were priceless.
4. The Golden Girls. I could always rely on this show to make me laugh.
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Count me down as one who preferred the Patrick Stewart version over any of the other Star Trek series.

January 17 2006 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good list idea! My 5 are very different:
5. The Cosby Show: good, wholesome fun.
4. Firefly: I love each and every character. I get stuck watching it when SciFi has marathons- even though I own the series on DVD.
3. The X-Files: Anything before Doggett showed up. I really miss Mulder & Scully.
2. Seinfeld: Every episode has a gem.
1. Friends: I can't even explain it. I just can't keep from watching the reruns as I'm making/eating dinner each evening. It annoys the hell out of my husband.

January 16 2006 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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