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Programmes to make you happy

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 15 February 2020

Do you feel like you need a pick-me-up without spending huge amounts of money or leaving the comfort of your home?

Programmes to make you happy

I was struck the other day at my lack of time to even embark on something as simple as a 10 minute a day commitment to doing meditation and yet I can find time to watch 3 seasons of 30 Rock.

It’s about priorities and the knowledge of getting an immediate hit. Being entertained, distracted, forming a love of a different world and characters. Hence the popularity of programmes such as Friends, Friday Night Dinner et al.

However, there is a reason #NetflixandChill is a thing (other than its euphemism). It’s escape, it’s a distraction and it’s (often) mindless. In the absence of the capacity to meditate, this is my mind space - it is how I unwind. And I love it. Whether it hits your funny bone (30 Rock), gives you your crime/history fix (Mind Hunter) or lets you drool over a psycho (You S1 & S2). There is something for everyone. 

But lately my requirement has been focused on humour, preferably inappropriate, such is my want. Maybe it makes my somewhat ‘subject the criticism’ sense of humour seem acceptable..?! If that is what you need too, then here are my fav’s:


It’s sweary, ridiculous comedy with random and token Americans thrown into the mix (Taylor Lautner, Andie MacDowell, Adam Samberg). Set in the ever glamorous Litchfield with the inimitably dry witted delicious beast that is Greg Davies. Feel good silliness and I love it.


THE duo.

THE duo.

Friday Night Dinner

Families always have that bonkers member that acts like a complete and utter tool. Well in FND, they all are, the neighbour even more so. It’s phrase heaven written and delivered by icons such as Tamsin Grieg and Mark Heap. Stupidity personified, but all encapsulated in the concept of family tradition. Incorporating sibling rivalry, petty marriage squabbles, overbearing neighbours and lashings of love!

(All 4)




What does seem to be doing the rounds amongst the teens again is Friends. It’s like a step back in time, still funny and very sweet. It’s amazing no note how many mannerisms have been adopted in from the characters and into our daily interactions!  It also puts a ridiculous grin on my face to not only have it back in my life but be able to share something with the kids that doesn’t involve feigning a love of The Thundermans (ok I do like it a bit). I wonder if I can get my 13 year old to come to Friends Fest with me this year?!


30 Rock

Firstly it’s that great combination of stupid and clever. It is ironic, totally non PC and reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously. Based on the concept of ‘behind the scenes’ at Saturday Night Live recorded at the Rockefeller Plaza and yet another example of Tina Fey knocking it out of the park. If you watch TV that is funny, feisty and witty - it‘ll wear off on you, right?

(All 4)

I am increasingly aware of how if I ditched Netflix, soaps and box sets, what could I achieve with the additional time? 
But relaxing and feeding your soul with what it wants is good too.



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Watch the programmes that reflect what you need mentally.