The Good Place

Reality is a lot to swallow right now, and after a long day spent organizing and resisting the incoming regime, you may find that your mind requires some moments of narrative, televised escapism in order to recharge. We're in the golden age of television, but not every show is going to give you a comforting feeling that briefly silences the inner-screams of "how is this happening?!"—for that, you need something that's not, say, Homeland. You need something simple, and ideally something that you haven't seen before.

In that vein, you won't find the big players on this list—Mad Men, The Americans, Breaking Bad, The OA, The Night Of, Rectify, 30 Rock, The Simpsons, etc. We've all watched those. We've also probably really worn out some old those favorites, like Gilmore Girls, everyone's comfort constant.

Below, a short list of programs that you may not have already seen 100 times, none of which will make you think about What Trump Is Tweeting Right Now.


I hadn't even heard of this show until a Mandy Moore mosaic turned up in a shower in Queens. It's sort of like Parenthood, in that big family drama way, but there's a twist. It will be revealed at the end of the pilot, so if you don't know it, don't try to find out (and assume someone will mention it in these comments).

Watch on: Hulu or Amazon


Following its glowing reviews from last week (when the full first season was released), I started this over the weekend. Yahoo's critic Ken Tucker had declared, "Once you watch the first episode, I dare you not to start binge-watching its 10 episodes." The pilot (which has been available since 2015) does indeed deliver enough intrigue to keep you from turning away, and the storyline for the crime drama will bring you into the light as often as it brings you into the dark. It stars Giovanni Ribisi as con man Marius Josipovic, along with Bryan Cranston, a gangster to whom he's indebted. Alan Sepinwall also enjoyed it, which is always a great sign.

Watch on: Amazon


This 30-minute dark-ish comedy is set in the afterlife and stars Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who regains consciousness after being run over by a truck carrying a billboard for erectile dysfunction products. She's told this is The Good Place (sector 12358w), a magical land where you meet your soulmate, get a house designed just for you, and the restaurant serves your favorite meal every time. Also Ted Danson is there.

Watch on: Hulu


One time I had to do a pretty quick interview with Jeremy Piven, who I found to be surprisingly not-a-dick, as I assumed most people involved with Entourage were? He was very nice! So afterward I decided to give his show Mr. Selfridge a shot, and ended up really enjoying it. The show centers around "the real-life story of the flamboyant and visionary American founder of Selfridge's, London's department store." Piven's mom likes it, too!

Watch on: PBS or Amazon


And finally, if watching a roomful of jolly Brits baking Madeira Cake doesn't make you happy, nothing will.

Watch on: PBS or Amazon