Something that my closest friends know: I go out of my way to not watch movies nominated for Academy Awards. I am wholeheartedly convinced that the people directing these films do everything in their power to make their viewers depressed. When I watch TV, I want to be entertained. I don’t want to hate my life. Real life is sad enough.
It’s not that I exclusively watch romantic comedies and sitcoms. However, when I’m trying to unwind in front of a screen, you won’t find me turning on my recorded episode of This Is Us or The Handmaid’s Tale–both shows I do watch regularly, but aren’t exactly relaxing. For anyone else in search of lighthearted entertainment suggestions, I’ve compiled a list below of a movie, a binge-worthy TV show, and a novel:
Movie: About Time
This is one of the happiest movies I’ve ever seen. It has comedy, drama, romance, a great ending, and I never felt myself getting extremely anxious for the characters. I know it’s silly, but I really fall into something of an empathy trap with some characters and plots. This was just enjoyable.
In this movie, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is informed that the men in his family have the ability to travel in time. He may or may not use this newfound skill to land himself a lovely girlfriend, Mary (Rachel McAdams). Of all the movies where Rachel McAdams plays the significant other of a man that can travel through time–as she does in at least three films–this is, by far, the sweetest.
Bonus: my husband, who is difficult to please with movies and is not a fan of “chick flicks”, thought this film was great.
TV Show: Kim’s Convenience
An easy-to-watch, hilarious Canadian sitcom about a Korean family running a convenience store in Toronto. The characters are endearing, the stories are funny, and the plot neatly wraps up in a bow at the end of the episode. No one needs a cliffhanger when they’re suffering from an anxiety attack hangover.
The characters find themselves in some awkward situations. They accidentally say and do things that can make the audience cringe, but the consequences are never dire. Rarely does anyone get truly hurt or upset, and if they do, they’re able to work it out in the end. As someone who has suffered from social anxiety, it’s so refreshing to see people accidentally stumble through social situations and not face harsh judgment from their community. I can imagine myself in their shoes.
Book: Happy And You Know It
I didn’t even know what this book was going to be about before I started reading it. Some people I follow on Instagram said it was hilarious, and I had just read two depressing books consecutively. I needed something light and funny. This is about a group of wealthy moms in New York City, their babies’ play group, their sarcastic, moody play group musician, and some overpriced vitamin supplements.
Although I love to read, I am a slow reader. I’m not sure if it’s the constant stimulation with email/social media/text messages or if I’m simply too tired to focus, but it can take me ages to get through my pleasure reading selections. Not with this book! I was literally laughing out loud and saying, “This is ridiculous!” The streams of consciousness from the various characters of wildly different backgrounds were so funny and relatable, even if the story line bordered preposterous (in a good way.)
Do you have more lighthearted entertainment suggestions that help you disconnect from this crazy world, reset, and unwind? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below!