10 Feel-Good Shows to Watch Right Now

10 Feel-Good Shows to Watch Right Now

Share:

twitter
facebook
reddit
pinterest
link

Getting through an entire TV show can be a long commitment. And given the state of the world we’re in, sometimes we just don’t have the bandwidth to stick with something dark and depressing for multiple seasons; sometimes all we really need is a good pick-me-up. So in line with that, we’ve prepared a list of 10 high-quality TV shows that we think still haven’t gotten the praise they’ve earned. And these shows are far from fluff, proving that it could be just as difficult to write good television that taps into something warm and comforting.

10. Mo

7.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Mo Amer, Teresa Ruiz

Moods

Character-driven, Dramatic, Feel-Good

Mo is the semi-autobiographical tale of creator and star Mo Amer, whose tricky bouts with immigration, interfaith relationships, and growing up Arab-American all figure in the show. It’s a bittersweet series that brings the Palestinian and immigrant experience to the forefront—a tricky act that’s dealt with deft ease here. The series may be rife with social, cultural, and political issues, but there’s a big and heartfelt message at the center of it, and Amer tells it with genuine warmth and humor without ever being too self-serious and preachy, making Mo a breezy but meaningful watch.

9. Tuca and Bertie

7.6

Country

United States of America

Actors

Ali Wong, Steven Yeun, Tiffany Haddish

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Grown-up Comedy

The brainchild of Lisa Hanawalt (one of the creative forces behind Netflix’s BoJack Horseman), Tuca & Bertie departed from that other show’s no-holds-barred look at addiction and depression to focus on the freewheeling adventures of two best friends in the wacky city of Birdtown. The series wears its silliness like a badge of honor and takes pride in portraying adult women as weird, insecure, sexual beings who are still fully capable of anything. And while it mostly plays as a manic romcom (with an incredible Steven Yeun playing Bertie’s boyfriend, Speckle), there are enough moving moments sprinkled throughout that remind you this is all rooted in authentic emotion.

8. The Outlaws

7.9

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Charles Babalola, Christopher Walken, Clare Perkins, Darren Boyd

Moods

A-list actors, Binge-Worthy, Dramatic

The Outlaws is an enjoyable BBC miniseries that centers on the lives and misadventures of seven lawbreakers sentenced to 120 hours of community service. The felons can’t be more different from each other, but as they gather every day to serve, they slowly bond in the process. It’s a bit like The Breakfast Club and The Good Place in that sense, although subplots of crime and heist make it a dash more thrilling.

The characters may appear as caricatures at first (“Everyone’s a type,” as one of them puts it), but don’t be fooled: they’re all nicely fleshed out with every episode, and each back story adds a new depth to the series. Stephen Merchant (co-creator of The Office UK) stars in, writes, and directs the series.

7. Insecure

best

8.0

Country

United States of America

Actors

Issa Rae, Jay Ellis, Yvonne Orji

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

Sometimes, nothing beats the easygoing entertainment of watching two attractive characters flirt and fall in love on screen, or seeing a group of ride-or-die friends get into trouble together. HBO’s Insecure, which ran for five successful seasons, knows that it doesn’t need to exaggerate or put a subversive twist on the romantic comedy to find relatable and affecting storylines. The series stays mostly locked in to South Los Angeles, California as it follows Issa (Issa Rae) navigate the modern dating scene, try to settle on a career path, and manage her friendships as an ambitious and somewhat awkward thirtysomething Black woman.

Even if you don’t have much in common with Issa, Insecure is a massively comforting watch. Rae and co-creator Larry Wilmore have an impeccable eye for the messy, unspoken rules of social and romantic interaction that other shows might write off as too trivial. But this show lives and breathes in the ordinary, realistic problems—while still indulging in the warm and fuzzy feelings brought about by meeting someone new or seeing yourself grow up just a little more.

6. Undeclared

best

8.0

Country

United States, United States of America

Actors

Carla Gallo, Charlie Hunnam, Jay Baruchel, Monica Keena

Moods

A-list actors, Easy, Emotional

If you mention “coming-of-age show” and “Judd Apatow” in one breath, chances are people will think you’re talking about Freaks and Geeks, the highly revered series about a group of friends trying and failing to fit into high school. Despite being a commercial bust, it cemented Apatow as a tragicomic giant and launched the careers of Seth Rogen and James Franco (among many others) as the figures to watch out for a slapstick good time. But there is another series that falls into this category: the little-known but brilliant Undeclared, which also follows a group of young people (Rogen included!) trying their best to figure things out. 

Undeclared is set in college, however, and its main protagonist is Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel), a freshman who has a year to decide what he’s majoring in; until then, his status is undeclared. He’s joined by his roommates and the girls next door, and together they experiment—with class, ideologies, fraternities, and each other. The sky’s the limit for these newly independent adults, and as such, Apatow doesn’t hold back in his humor and subject matter. Undeclared captures that weird mix of apathy and ambition and awkwardness that college makes you feel, making it perfectly relatable for many of us. 

It’s also worth mentioning that a great deal of comedians, both established and up-and-coming at the time, make cameos here, including Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, and pre-dental-surgery Amy Poehler.

5. Trying

best

8.0

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Esther Smith, Imelda Staunton, Oliver Chris, Ophelia Lovibond

Moods

Easy, Emotional, Feel-Good

Trying is a realistic but charming take on couples venturing to build a life and stable future for themselves. Heavy themes are tackled here, like infertility, infidelity, and parenthood, but the immensely likable couple that is Nikki and Jase guide us through the murky ups and downs of them all. Their heart and humor aren’t just comforting to watch, they’re also inspiring in a TV age obsessed with heavy dramatics. Like Ted Lasso, Abbott Elementary, and other well-meaning shows like it, Trying is a bit of lighthearted fare that we’d do well to indulge in every now and then.

4. Our Flag Means Death

best

8.0

Country

United States, United States of America

Actors

Con O'Neill, David Fane, Ewen Bremner, Guz Khan

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Easy

The scene: 1717, the Golden Age of Piracy; the people: brute criminals living on nothing but loot. Seems typical enough for a pirate story, but more than just an action-packed swashbuckling treat, Our Flag Means Death is also a raging ensemble comedy that is both modern and subversive as it dares to recast masculinity in a whole new light. 

The show follows Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), a flamboyant aristocrat who leaves his pampered life and turns to the sea in search of deeper meaning and purpose. Specifically, he’s out to figure out, once and for all, what it means to be a man. Does it entail remorseless murder and a stoic acceptance of one’s responsibility, as he’s been taught and taunted to do for so long, or is there more to it than that? The wannabe pirate gets closer to answering these questions when he meets and eventually falls for the legendary Blackbeard, played warmly and hilariously by Taika Waititi.

3. Acapulco

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Camila Perez, Damián Alcázar, Enrique Arrizon, Eugenio Derbez

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

There is an art to making a comedy that can be enjoyed by all ages—a balance must be kept between mature and genial humor, serious and unserious matters—and it’s an art that Acapulco manages to execute with finesse. There’s something for everyone here, whether you’re a kid looking for a good story or an adult wishing to drive by memory lane. 

The colors are vibrant, the characters are alive, and the plot, while familiar, is charming nonetheless. But perhaps the best thing about Acapulco is its call for viewers to be kind. It’s never explicit or preachy about it; it just comes naturally, by way of practice.

2. Abbott Elementary

best

8.5

Country

United States, United States of America

Actors

Chris Perfetti, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Quinta Brunson

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Feel-Good

Abbot Elementary is a mockumentary that follows a group of well-meaning but cash-strapped teachers trying to make their school a better place. The premise sounds simple enough, but the show’s big heart and sharp observations about the rotting U.S. education system make it a breath of fresh air in the sitcom world. Abbot Elementary’s characters are funny and likable, while also being fearless, defined, and nuanced. 

The show manages to do the seemingly impossible: genuinely and lightheartedly uplift the people it represents. It shines some much-needed light on the public service these undervalued teachers provide, without ever sounding too preachy or patronizing: an impressive feat for such a progressive show.

1. As We See It

best

8.5

Country

United States, United States of America

Actors

Albert Rutecki, Angela Fornero, Chris Pang, David Futernick

Moods

Emotional, Feel-Good, Heart-warming

As We See It centers on the perspectives of its three leads: Jack, Violet, and Harrison, twenty-something roommates who happen to be on the autism spectrum. Along with their caretaker Mandy and a small but loving group of friends and family, they embark on a journey of self-improvement that is sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking, but always funny and kind.

Despite zeroing in on a very specific disorder, the struggles and accomplishments of As We See It’s characters feel universal and wholly relatable. The nuanced and refreshingly humane characterizations, along with an impressive balance of comedy and drama, are what make As We See It truly special. It is an underrated, enjoyable gem of a show, and quite digestible too since it only runs for eight episodes. 

agmtw
eu

© 2022 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.

We are home to the best film and TV on popular streaming services. Supported only by readers like you and by public grants.