(Everyone else is doing it, why can’t I?)
Look, these are anxious times. Maybe this will help somebody. Maybe this will help ME. Anyway, turn off the news for a while and let these shows give you a false sense of calm.
Joe Pera Talks With You
The least Adult Swim content that Adult Swim have ever put out — Joe Pera Talks With You features the titular character, a choir teacher in Michigan, expounding on a varies of topics.
This is aslow-moving, brilliantly written, wholesome comedy. In one episode he waits for his grandmother while she gets her hair done. That’s basically the whole episode!
Joe talks with friends, discovers new music, and generally moves through life with both a childlike wonder and an elderly cadence.
The wonderful Amy Poehler and also wonderful Nick Offerman combine with a lighthearted competitive crafting show where the whole shtick is that the drama boils down to everybody getting along and helping each other.
There are plenty of puns, everyone is happy to be there, and you get to see some really neat creations to boot. Pick your favourite contestant and feel good that even if they lose, they had a great time.
And if we’re all going to be stuck inside, maybe we can learn some DIY skills.
The Joy of Painting
The OG relaxation station is available on Netflix and is of course widely known, but I can’t exclude it. Bob Ross projected an air of contentment during his run as the world’s painting instructor that the rest of us can only yearn for.
His show was ASMR before that was a thing, and I love that new generations keep finding him, and his peaceful, positive attitude. Here he is feeding a baby squirrel:
The Curse of Oak Island
The History Channel tries to paint this show as something akin to a Dan Browne novel, full of dark secrets and potentially lethal consequences. The reality is that this is a show about two brothers — and a bunch of their friends — looking for treasure on a remote Nova Scotian Island.
Patterns are revealed, both in terms of the clues to uncover, but also in the show’s structure. As much as the narrator hams it up, there is very little high intensity drama. These are men who get often get excited when they find pieces of wood.
But, watch enough and mystery starts to reveal itself: Why do I care so much about this show?? Their determination is admirable, their search for some answers in life is relatable and goddamn, I hope they find what they are looking for.
Anything with David Attenborough
Even though he is becoming increasingly more exasperated with our self-inflicted planetary destruction lately, it is still hard to beat Sir David’s soothing tones over shots of baby animals and sweeping landscapes.
Practice self care on these. You know that in the Animal Kingdom, not every story has a happy ending.
Slow TV is what would happen if the aforementioned Joe Pera got control of the programming of a channel for a day. This is coverage of an ordinary event, for an extended period of time.
It’s the TV equivalent of staring out a train window as the landscape passes by while your mind reaches a meditative state. In fact, a lot of slow TV is just that; train rides.
See some nature, feel like you’ve travelled, stuff your face with chocolate and don’t leave your couch!
And wash your hands.