Understanding the comfort show

Everybody has a comfort show, the show you always go back to  — even though you’ve watched it more times than you could count.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

It’s the show that has you laughing at the same jokes, gives you a serotonin boost with its light-hearted narrative or calms you down through the characters you’ve learned to love. 

Comfort shows vary according to each person; while for some, this might look like a cooking show, for others, it might take the form of a rom-com or a sit-com. 

In essence, no matter the subject, these shows function as vehicles to escape reality and bring a sense of calm and tranquility to stressful days. Oftentimes, they even bring happiness by triggering positive childhood memories connected to them.  

Many of us have grown up watching TV— from “Barney & Friends” to “Wizards of Waverly Place”— we have long been surrounded by visual entertainment, each show marking a different point in our growth. 

I connect “The Backyardigans” with my preschool years and “Drake and Josh” with middle school. Unconsciously, we associate certain TV episodes or movies with particular memories from our past. And with every rewatch, those memories embrace us with echoes of our childhood and teenage years. 

 I recently asked a friend what her comfort show was, and she replied with “SuperTorpe,” a show popular in Latin-American featuring an overactive high-schooler with superpowers and questionable fashion taste. While tailored for children with its unrealistic storyline and naïve characters, the show provided her with an escape from life’s hardships.  

My comfort show is “The Great British Baking Show,” because it provides me with a sense of stability. 

I’m someone who thrives in the comfort of a routine. I like the sense of control it brings. 

After experiencing an unprecedented pandemic, I quickly learned that consistently trying to predict your tomorrow does more harm than good. Still, I needed something that made me believe I controlled at least a fragment of my day-to-day — that became “The Great British Baking Show.”

I frequently watch the same episodes without considering the season or their order. Even though trying to control my whole day is impossible, I know that at least every morning begins with the popular baking show.  

Who is really to say what constitutes a comfort show? It takes many forms and has different meanings. It can be a means for relaxation or happiness, a catalyst to a flow of childhood memories or merely a way to maintain stability in a busy lifestyle.

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