Let’s be honest. 2020 as a whole, has not been what most of us had hoped when we counted down the seconds and grabbed the first available lips on December 31.
COVID came to stay and killed its hosts. Riots and civil unrest exploded. We lost RBG, John Lewis, Carl Reiner, Kobe Bryant, and even “I Am Woman” singer Helen Reddy. A near record-breaking numbers of hurricanes hit North America. We discovered that working for Ellen DeGeneres isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And that was while many were losing income and personal freedoms for the sake of public health and safety.
It’s getting hard to find the “bright side.” It’s getting even harder to remember what’s important in life. And while television should be able to do so, that kind of optimism doesn’t always lead to big ratings – or multiple seasons – making it difficult to find my happy place.
So I’ve made a list of shows worth watching – or in some cases, re-watching – to lift our spirits, make us laugh, and see the good in the world.
Eli Stone (2008-2010). A soul-less corporate lawyer suddenly has strange visions and believes them to be messages from God which lead him to make extreme changes in his life.
Quantum Leap (1989-1993) A man travels through time to live as someone else and possibly right a few wrongs. It’s a wonderful reminder to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. And Scott Bakula is truly swoon-worthy.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2019) After being kidnapped and held in a bunker for 15 years before being rescued, Kimmy experiences the world in wide-eyed wonder.
Drop Dead Diva (2009-2014) A superficial model dies before she should have. So the angel responsible puts her back in someone else’s body – that of an over-worked, full-figured attorney who fights for the underdog.
Parks and Rec (2009-2015) Leslie Knope just wants to make her town a better place – but bureaucracy doesn’t make it easy.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (2020- ) A woman can hear the innermost desires of others in the form of songs. So she decides to help them whether they like it or not.
Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020) The Rose family is forced to live in the tiny town of Schitt's Creek after losing their fortune. It just won a closet full of Emmys.
Grace & Frankie (2015- ) Two frenemies (Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda!) discover their husbands are in love – with each other. Instead of wallowing, the women team up to move forward.
Modern Family (2009-2020) Let’s celebrates all the different kinds of love that make a family.
Black-ish (2014- ) It’s a more modern and honest take on The Cosby Show without the weird sweaters or the potential for future scandal.
Happy Endings (2011-2013) In this short-lived comedy, the writers improved on all the flaws of Friends and moved it to Chicago.
One Day at a Time (2017- ) A divorced Latina family struggles together. I loved the original, but frankly, this reboot is better.
Of course, not every show is for everybody. But these are worth a try. Given the guaranteed lack of celebratory lip-lock coming this December 31, we're going to need as much help as possible finding our happy place.