Sometimes, only television and movies can really help through rough times. This year in particular has not been an easy one, ranging from the ugly election season to losing a lot of much beloved entertainers and positive contributors to society. When the outside world is sometimes to much to manage, here are the movies and television shows I turn to for escapism and which I recommend to you as comfort entertainment. I would love to hear your comfort shows/movies too, so feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me at @classicsgal
Pride and Prejudice
I’ve spoken a couple times on this site about my passion for Jane Austen books. My favorite film adaption of her book is the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries produced by BBC. It stars Oscar winner Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, whose romance is thwarted by misunderstandings and vanity. While I would say the romance part is definitely captivating to watch (I enjoy seeing the characters evolve and watching the actors’ excellent chemistry) what makes this miniseries truly a comfort watch are the humorous, side characters. Austen lampoons all sorts of personalities in her books, and this miniseries does an excellent job in keeping to tone and exaggerating them a bit for humor.
The side characters of Mrs. Bennett, Lydia, and Mr. Collins are so silly and outlandish that you can’t help being happy and eagerly awaiting their scenes. I’ve been watching the miniseries this past week and they have seriously helped me escape the current event stresses.
You’ve Got Mail
I remember when I first saw this movie back in 1998 or 1999. I had to drag my friends to see it and they didn’t come out loving the movie. However, I did. Never mind that the movie has some outdated premises almost twenty years later (a bookstore chain being the dominant business instead of Amazon; internet being dial up connection by AOL). This movie stands the test of time with the delightful Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan humorously playing off each other. A lot of the movie’s comfort factor for me derives from it taking place in bookstores . I’m a self confessed book nerd, and I am naturally drawn to anything that focuses on books, regardless if it’s just an image and not something I can actually visit. Books just add to the charm of this movie.
Source: Warner Brothers
While You Were Sleeping
I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was at a sleepover during my seventh grade. I don’t remember all the feelings I had watching the movie but do remember that I left feeling happy and loving the dynamic between Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. This movie is now part of my annual Christmas movie watches. For those of you who have yet to have seen it (why haven’t you seen it by the way!), Sandra Bullock saves a man that falls on the train tracks and who subsequently goes into a coma. While at the hospital, his family (one of them being Bill Pullman, the brother) mistakenly thinks she is his fiancee. She goes a long with it because she is lonely but gets herself into funny scenarios.
Source: Buena Vista Pictures
A weird premise but, nonetheless, the movie is one of my go to for comfort because of it’s underlying theme of family love and the Christmas season. The family that adopts Sandra Bullock’s character is relatable, quirky, and warm. Watching these characters’ positivity automatically puts me in a good mood. Also, I get excited this movie takes place in Chicago- where I live- and I get to look out for places I walk to on a daily basis and compare how the city looked in 1995 versus now.
Jane the Virgin
Anytime I try to explain this show to my friends that haven’t seen the show, I don’t do it justice. My friends come off skeptical about watching, when in reality, this show should be their first go to for comfort. The show’s premise centers on Jane, a virgin that is accidentally artificially inseminated and ends up having a baby. The storyline is in itself far fetched, but that’s the whole point. The show is based off a soap opera and has soap opera storylines, but makes fun of these storylines. That’s what makes this show so glorious to watch. It never takes itself too seriously and doesn’t ask it’s audience to do either. I enjoy watching a show poke fun of itself in a tounge-in-cheek manner. Beyond this underlying light hearted, satire premise,the show has a lot of heart. The characters strive to do good, even when they have their morally questionable moments. Just like Pride and Prejudice, the secondary characters provide a lot of delightful moments. My favorite secondary character is Rogelio. I don’t want to spoil too much about him since half the fun is watching him but I’ll let this gif do the explanation.
I started watching this show back in 2006-2007, when I was at a job that I didn’t particularly love. I got hooked from the first season. I came home from work and binged watched on DVDs (remember those?). Because Scrubs got me through a rough time once before, I know it will always be the right go to for other hard times.
The show takes place in a hospital and follows JD (played by Zach Braff) and his best friend, who have just graduated medical school and are starting residency. The show is the perfect balance of silliness and lessons on living life. Even when the show is dealing withe some really serious stuff, the show always finds way to make you have the best laugh, which is laughing at the characters. Here’s one of my favorite moments in the series, where I got a good chuckle at JD’s expense.