Top TV Shows for the Bad Days
Sometimes, there are extremely bad days in the recovery process. Days when you don't want to, or can't, get out of bed. Days when you need to switch off from the outside world, and take a break from the thoughts inside your head. It can often be hard to know what is best for the ultimate switch off, especially when you can't sleep.
In my experience, these are the best TV shows when you are in need of zoning out, or when you are in need of company without actually being around other people. Sometimes, it can just be too hard to be with other people, especially when flashbacks are strong, you have been expending yourself too much emotionally, or when you really feel the weight of a significant day/milestone since the assault/s. Even in this needed alone time, it can still be hard to be completely alone with yourself (even if at points this is vitally needed).
These shows are a perfect middle ground to give you some space on your own, with the added company of your favourite fictional lives. Most of them are on Netflix or Amazon Prime (or you could find it somewhere else online through Google search, not that I'm promoting that...).
Brooklyn 99, and all the characters within it, will always have a special place in my heart. The show follows the daily lives of the New York's 99th Brooklyn precinct, comprised of a highly diverse and easily lovable group of characters. The show is hilarious and is easy to fall in love with, with the character development and storylines being the best I have ever seen in sit-coms. It explores various different issues in the police force and society - from sexuality and race - and exemplifies what constitutes good representation on screen. The characters fight for each other, love each other, and truly show what it means to make your own family.
The 'Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling' follows a group of misfits trying to set up a wrestling show to be aired on TV, and is actually based on a true story. It is a mix of the ups and downs of female friendship, the comedy of the wrestling personas the characters must create, and of course the inspiration of a group of diverse women learning to wrestle - showing the world that they are just as strong as men.
Orange is the New Black
With 5 seasons to binge through, OITNB has come a long way since it's first season. From early beginnings following Piper through her first weeks at Litchfield, the show has developed well, giving equal screen time and plot lines to all the groups of women at the prison. Whilst the first season remains mostly comedic, the show becomes increasingly serious as the seasons go on. So with this one, be prepared for some intensity, especially in Season's 4 and 5 (the latter of which is set over just three days at the prison). The importance of this show is the mostly female cast and crew, and I have always felt safe and connected to the characters.
'Aggressive Retsuko' was only released on Netflix a couple weeks ago, but there are also some older Youtube episodes available. This show is special in it's uniqueness and short episode length, making it perfect to watch if you can't muster much of an attention span. Retsuko is a tiny red panda in her mid twenties who works a dead-end office job, plodding through her days with trivial dramas happening in her workplace/with her friends. This typical millennial has a secret to hide though - she masquerades as a death-metal singer in karaoke bars at night, screaming about misogyny and the patriarchy, bitching about her boss and the banality of modern life. Funny, smart, and extremely cathartic, the show is perfect to watch when you want some brief (angry) company.
Fun note: it's made by the same people who created Hello Kitty!
Queer Eye is about the goodness in life, and the importance of trying to not judge a book by its cover. A reboot from the 90s show, the modern version is more diverse and so wholesome sometimes it hurts. The first episode is my favourite by far, and shows people's capability to change and improve for the people they love and, most importantly, for themselves. Warning: it will probably make you cry because of how sweet it is.
Grace and Frankie
After their husbands come out as in love with one another, Grace and Frankie are left lost and confused in their later years. Luckily, the two discover how much they care for each other and learn to support one another in their newly single lives. The show explores the lives and realities of older women, the complexities of family dynamics, and (although I haven't gotten to this part yet) the importance of embracing female sexuality. It's funny and relatable, and is currently mine and my flatmates bonding time TV-show.
Oh, trashy, ridiculous, amazing, confusing, incredible Riverdale... how far we've come. My partner showed me this show at the beginning of our relationship so it has become 'our' show, and I am so glad for it. It's very complex and takes a lot of commitment to be able to fully follow what is going on in this strange little town, but the commitment pays off. With murders, and high school fights, gangs, and musicals, drugs, and talent shows, it really becomes tricky to know whether it's a high school drama or a dark murder mystery - but that's the amazingness of it: it's both! You can fulfil your inner teen drama lover whilst getting gripped to the 'whodunnit' setup. Note: get some doughnuts and coffee for the watch.
And finally, one of the classics, because I just couldn't resist... GG is still my guilty pleasure, reverting me back to my simple obsession when I was 12 and allowed to stay up late to watch it on BBC Three. It's trashy and hilarious, and great for a good binge when you really don't want to think of anything. It's long and you can get addicted if you want, but it's also perfect for dipping in and out of occasionally for a healthy dose of mindless teen gossiping. (xoxo...)
TW: a younger Ed Westwick (accused) plays Chuck Bass.
Notable Mention - Parks and Recreation
TW: sexual assault allegations
My old love, Parks and Recreation... I still have a love for the show because of the amazing idol Lesley Knope (played by Amy Poehler), and the easiness and simplicity of the show. However, one of the characters who features in most episodes is played by Aziz Ansari, who was accused of sexual assault at the beginning of this year - what makes it worse is his character's 'funny' misogyny that became all the more real after allegations came out. The details of the accusations are sickening and all too familiar, and I am still so angry, primarily for the survivor who was hounded by Ansari's defenders, but also because Ansari could scupper the trust his fans had for him. Similarly, the show guest stars Louis C.K. (accused and confirmed) for a number of episodes in the early seasons. Whilst the show was made years before any of the allegations were made, it has become hard for me to watch it since there are constant reminders of the shitty things that happen in the world and that I have specifically survived. That being said, it is still a great show and it is not the creators/protagonists fault that such circumstances came to play. So, it is worth a watch but a TW is unfortunately in need now.