I recently gave a speech for my public speaking class that contained the line, “…when I’m sad and watching Parks and Recreation, my television comfort food, coupled with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, my food comfort food.” This got me thinking about how much I really do turn to TV to distract me from a bad mood or remedy a shitty day. Below for your convenience are my favorite television comfort foods and my recommended food comfort foods to pair with them. Never be sad again!!!! Or, at least, feel a little better.
1. Parks and Recreation: I really did mean it in my speech- I turn to Parks and Recreation all the time when I need a pick-me-up. The combination of Leslie Knope’s inspiring productivity, all of the many warm and fuzzy moments, and Jerry/Garry/Larry’s life in comparison to yours is the perfect formula for getting out of a rut. I dare you to NOT fall in love with every character and feel like an invisible fireplace and mug of hot chocolate are following you around for the rest of the day after watching. Pair with: Breakfast foods. Frozen waffles will do in a pinch.
2. Boy Meets World: Boy Meets World was the first show that I ever watched from beginning to end in its entirety and it took me over half of seventh grade, which is funny because I watched two full seasons of Girls this week alone. Watching it gave me flashbacks to watching it when I was really little, and I was surprised to find out that I could remember scenes that I watched when I was like four and had completely forgot about until rewatching. Replace as necessary with any show with similar after school special vibes that aired during your childhood. Pair with: PB&J.
3. Trading Spaces: I used to watch this all the time with my mom when I was little. I was a weird toddler. There’s something vaguely comforting about watching people renovate houses and satisfying about judging the final product from the comfort of your own couch. Can be replaced by any TLC or Discovery Channel show. I would also recommend Clean Sweep. Pair with: Cheerios (preferably of the honey-nut variety) with a banana sliced on top.
4. The Food Network: Forget your worries and spend an hour or two thinking with only your stomach. Bonus points if it’s a contest show. Pair with: A microwave s’more, so that you don’t get too sad about not eating the food on your screen.
5. Bob’s Burgers: The way that the Belchers support each other above everything will comfort you approximately 30 times more than any of the other “grown-up” animated shows ever could. Pair with: Takeout.
6. My SoCalled Life/Freaks & Geeks: MSCL was the first high school sitcom I watched that I felt I could directly relate to, and Freaks portrayed high school in all around the most accurate way I’ve seen. Perfect for when you’re stressed from high school OR when you’re old enough to look back on it and laugh. Pair with: Grilled cheese, a la Bill Haverchuck.
7. Infomercials: What is it about infomercials that draw me in? I could probably recognize any of the Magic Bullet actors if I saw them on the street from the multiple times I have lingered on their neverending ad. When nothing else is on TV and you need to be distracted by mindless drivel more mindless than reality TV, infomercials are there for you. Pair with: Chips and queso.
8. The Mindy Project: I don’t hear enough people talk about this show. Mindy Kaling is basically a perfect person and her show is equal parts hilarious, comforting, and relatable. Pair with: a pint of ice cream (my personal fav comfort food).
9. I Love Lucy: Another show that I used to marathon as a weird toddler. Odds are you’ve seen it but not for a very long time. Switch on TV Land and think about your grandma. Pair with: A JellO mold for authenticity, or chocolates.
10. Gilmore Girls: This one basically speaks for itself. I haven’t seen it all the way through yet, but I used to watch it everyday after school and wish that I was Rory Gilmore. Watch it when you’re annoyed by everyone around you and want to escape into fastpaced witty dialogue filled with pop culture references and feel warm and fuzzy fireplace/hot chocolate emotions similar to Parks. Pair with: A plethora of candy and/or Doritos.