Summer House is the RIP Black Panther A King Was Born In October Be The I In Kind Shirt and by the same token and perfect show to watch when you’ve had a long day and just want to zonk out. It’s dramatic, but doesn’t have a convoluted plot; it’s funny, but not so funny that you need to listen to get the jokes. Plus, I love the scenes where they show off their busy city lives and they’re walking around Manhattan saying things like, ‘Can you loop me in on that email chain and we’ll set up a one-on-one?’ Those were the days.” Even in before-times, I clung to comfort-food TV. Why take a chance on something new when you can return to something you know you love? In the initial months of quarantine, I ran through all the usual suspects: 30 Rock, The Office, Fleabag season two. But as the weather turned oppressively hot, I needed something truly transporting—something familiar but not too familiar. In my Goldilocks search, I rediscovered New Girl. It is lobotomy TV at its finest: four friends muddling through extremely low-stakes situations, which somehow never veer into anything too earnest or self-serious. New Girl provides an effortless slice of pre-pandemic life: mindless hangouts, inside jokes, and a steamy roommate romance. Was anyone ever so young “I’ve cycled through a few different bedtime shows this summer: first, the BBC’s 1994 adaptation of Middlemarch (which I helpfully found very boring), then ITV’s 2002 adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, and now, the late-aughts HBO series In Treatment. (The news of a possible reboot reminded me of it.) Yes, one of these things isn’t quite like the others, but common to all three is a narrowness of focus (and, well, a talkiness) that I’m finding comforting these days. Tastefully furnished rooms where people discuss their feelings and sometimes settle estate disputes? Yes, please!
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The Japanese reality phenomenon Terrace House had been on my Netflix list for months but never felt like a must-watch—until I tried it at bedtime. The housemates’ gentle conflict, relentless politeness, and to-die-for food preparation has been a delightful soporific. Now, of course, tragedy shadows Terrace House with the RIP Black Panther A King Was Born In October Be The I In Kind Shirt and by the same token and apparent suicide of a cast member (and the series is on indefinite hiatus) but I’m sticking to the early seasons and trying to savor them. Currently steeped in Boys and Girls in the City dy Kaling post a promotional TikTok that suggested it would be fun and funny. The series didn’t disappoint: It’s the story of Devi Vishwakumar, a high-achieving teen who is focused on getting with the school’s hottest guy so she can avoid feeling anything about her father’s sudden death. There’s comfort in its high school themes—friendship breakups, family arguments, Model U.N. trip drinking—though the plot (amusingly narrated by John McEnroe) never feels too predictable. I’ve watched the series twice already After seeing it with my boyfriend, it turned out to be the perfect show for my parents, who are always requesting ‘nothing too miserable’ (which rules out my other recent bedtime watch—The Business of Drugs, on Netflix. Unsurprisingly, my favorite show to watch before bed is one that I’ve watched many, many times over (from beginning to end!), even claiming that I know the best 12 episodes: the one and only Gossip Girl. In particular, the Thanksgiving episodes always soothe me before my slumber. Maybe it’s because they’re so dramatic that I feel like my life is more normal, or maybe it’s because they always have a happy ending. One of these episodes with a melatonin works like a charm every time!