45 Lighthearted TV Shows to Watch Right Now

45 Lighthearted TV Shows to Watch Right Now

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Sometimes, all you need is a dose of pure joy and laughter to brighten your day. These TV shows are the perfect remedy, offering delightful escapism and feel-good moments that will leave you with a warm, contagious smile. So, sit back, relax, and let these shows be your ultimate source of comfort, providing much-needed respite from the everyday hustle. So here’s to the joyous side of television and the best lighthearted TV shows that are guaranteed to brighten your day.

31. Starstruck

7.5

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Emma Sidi, Nikesh Patel, Rose Matafeo

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Emotional

New Zealand comic Rose Matafeo directs, writes, and stars in this charming series about a regular woman who unwittingly spends the night with a film star. What was supposed to be a one-night stand hilariously evolves into something quite serious, with both leads learning to navigate the messy contours of modern love (think Notting Hill but with the roles reversed). 

With only six episodes per season, each running at less than 30 minutes, this British romantic comedy series is a sweet and easy gulp; you’ll find yourself alternating between sobs and chuckles throughout the inevitable binge. 

32. 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.

33. Party Down

7.5

Actors

Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Garner, Ken Marino

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Funny

Despite featuring a sharp script and solid performances, Party Down struggled to rake in views when it premiered in 2009, and sadly had to quit after just two seasons in. But since then, its small cast had gone on to become TV luminaries and its sardonic humor garnered newfound appreciation among the younger crowd. Even the show’s hustle culture premise, which was quite novel then, can be found in almost every show now. 

So it’s not a stretch to call Party Down a pioneering comedy. It’s simple and efficient, with each episode taking place at a different event, but it’s also deeply funny and keenly aware of the ironies and hypocrisies of the industry it’s a part of. People, myself included, were afraid that it might lose some of its underdog edge when it was rebooted in 2023, but rest assured, it remains as knife-sharp and hilarious as ever.  

34. Unprisoned

7.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Delroy Lindo, Faly Rakotohavana, Kerry Washington, Marque Richardson

Moods

Easy, Emotional, Feel-Good

Growing up in multiple foster homes to an absentee mother and imprisoned father, Paige Alexander (Kerry Washington) has had a tough life, but you wouldn’t know from the way she carries herself. She’s bright, cheerful, and constantly buoyed by her ambitious hopes for upward mobility. But there are cracks to her facade, and all the trauma she’s been keeping in spills over one day when her recently released father decides to move in with Paige and her teenage son.

Trust and abandonment issues start to emerge. Resentment bubbles over. Despite being a relationship therapist, Paige cannot stabilize her love life. A viewer might expect a self-serious dramedy at this point, but Unprisoned refuses to be pigeonholed in this category. Instead, the show extracts unexpected joy from its bleak premise. Paige and her father Edwin (the perfectly cast Delroy Lindo) riff off each other with sparkling dialogue. They deploy endless jokes sometimes to hide their pain, but mostly to connect in that unique father-daughter way. After years of mistrust and negligence, they’re understandably broken but not, as it turns out, irredeemable. Relatable, sympathetic, and big-hearted, Unprisoned is a welcome show about the unexpected ways we heal (and the detours we take along the way). 

35. When I Fly Towards You

7.5

Country

China

Actors

Bian Tianyang, Gao Wen-feng, Hao Wenting, Miaoyi Zhang

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

Meeting a cute boy at the corner store, sneaking snacks into camp, leaving gifts at your crush’s desk… These are things that got lost for high schoolers who had to take online classes during the pandemic. Because of this, When I Fly Towards You is a timely blast from the past as schools get back on-site. This show captures the classroom experience before it went online, in such a cute and nostalgic manner. With moments that have to be ripped straight from someone’s high school diary, it’s easy to root for the sometimes cringy but mostly charming main characters in this series. The funny misunderstandings and assumptions between them feel all the more sweet as they try to make it up to each other.

36. Girls5Eva

7.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

What can you expect from a series about a former girl group that comes together for a second chance at pop success? At the hands of co-executive producer Tina Fey (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), it can only be razor-sharp and absurdly funny. 

Girls5Eva, both the show and the group it names, are rife with nostalgia and comic observations about the middle-age condition. Throwbacks to the early aughts, when Girls5Eva first found fame, highlight the silliness of the era, while commentaries about their 40-something lives give the show a realistic edge. The series also has a lot to say about the sexism that continues to haunt female pop stardom. 

Has the music industry learned from its mistakes and is it now better primed for Girls5Eva’s more honest and mature work? That’s the question the show tries to answer throughout its run, and it does so in endlessly entertaining and thoughtful ways.

37. Cunk on Earth

7.4

Actors

Diane Morgan

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Funny

Cunk on Earth is a five-episode mockumentary that takes the piss out of every single historical documentary you’ve seen. The host, Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan), asks actual experts stupid but funny questions about world history, which will often leave them stunned and speechless. 

That’s part of where the brilliance of this show lies really—in the reaction of the intellectuals who take Cunk’s questions seriously without ever breaking. A much bigger part relies on Morgan’s deft impression of a daft host. It’s all idiotic good fun, and it’s a breeze to binge if you’re looking for something lighthearted to put on the screen.

38. The Last Man on Earth

7.4

Actors

Cleopatra Coleman, January Jones, Keith L. Williams, Kristen Schaal

Moods

Easy, Funny, Lighthearted

From Sweet Tooth to The Last of Us, there’s no shortage nowadays of post-pandemic shows speculating about a virus-stricken and human-deficient world. But back in 2015, those were few and far between, making The Last Man on Earth a uniquely weird dramedy that was as existential as it was entertaining. 

But even as its novelty wore off over the years, The Last Man on Earth stands the test of time thanks to its deft balance of sadness and silliness. You could be laughing about a poop joke one moment and ruminating about the purpose of life the next—and it never feels jarring. The ensemble cast is also a notable strength of the show, with each cast member becoming more sympathetic and fleshed out every season. Even the latest additions to the crew, like Kristen Wiig’s Pamela, become fast favorites. 

If you’re looking for quick laughs, you can put this show on, but expect some heartache in between as well.

39. This Fool

7.3

Country

United States of America

Actors

Chris Estrada, Frankie Quiñones, Julia Vera, Laura Patalano

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Emotional

This Fool is a half-hour, 10-part series following Julio Lopez (played by co-creator Chris Estrada) a self-proclaimed “punk-ass bitch” and pushover who’s still in the process of learning to stand up for himself. Julio works for a gang rehab center called Hugs Not Thugs, where he also helps his cousin Luis (Frankie Quiñones) get back on his feet. It’s equal parts silly and sweet, but it also reflects the socio-political problems that tend to pervade Julio and Luis’ Southern LA community. References to violence and inequality are as present as they’ll be in stories like these, but they’re injected here with surreal humor, making it an easygoing but meaningful watch. 

40. Green Eggs and Ham

7.3

Country

United States of America

Actors

Adam Devine, Diane Keaton, Ilana Glazer, Jillian Bell

Moods

Easy, Lighthearted, No-brainer

What this Dr. Seuss adaptation might lack in originality, it makes up for by committing to the bit: visual gags aplenty, colorful art direction, and ridiculous situations ramping up into full set pieces. But beyond the show’s playfulness is a story about families just trying to make things work and people who don’t get along (with the second season even touching on anti-war themes)—which should all prove insightful enough for adults and for slightly older kids. And with simple animation that has clear effort put into it, Green Eggs and Ham’s unfortunately short run never comes off as a cheap cash grab.

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

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