• Kathryn Houghton

My Carefully Curated List of Comfort Shows

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

The Importance of Being Earnest, 1986

We‘ve all had those days. Those days where work has beat you, people have upset you, and life seems to be duller in comparison. What do we do on such days? Well, if you’re anything like me or the crew at The Postmodern Journal, then you’ll set yourself up with a good show and a hot cuppa.

Here I have created essentially a master list of my ultimate favorites; TV shows, mini-series, and a few movie sagas that have all brought me comfort even on my darkest days. So, time to put your coziest sweater on, get some snacks ready, and pick one of these to enjoy!

The Christy Series

Christy (CBS), 1994

Christy has become a recent favorite thanks to some of my good friends, who had been pushing me to give it a chance. I am so glad I did! All of these shows are family-friendly, but I can’t help but feel like Christy really teaches us the most.

Christy Huddleston sets out to teach in the Appalachian mountains, not fully realizing what hardships would be in store for her. She becomes apart of a mission, and, while doing so, she catches the attention of two men (which, by the way, I’m totally Team David). As she tries to educate the children of Cutter Gap and understand the people in the Cove, she realizes that she came there to learn.

This show is heartwarming, hilarious, and eye-opening for anyone watching. We see a whole new side to mountain life and how important education is for everyone.

You can find the whole series here.

North & South

North and South (BBC), 2004

This period drama definitely has a darker flare, but I seem to gravitate towards such adaptations. We follow Margaret Hale as she is forced from her life in the South to go live in a poor factory town in the North, known as Milton. Many refer to this as an industrial themed Pride and Prejudice, and I agree. As she becomes acquainted with John Milton, the owner of a cotton mill, they clash with their own prideful natures.

This is all about adjusting to a new way of life and remembering that not everyone was brought up the same way as you. Sometimes we are so caught up in our own lives we forget that people have been accustomed to a whole different way of living than us.

I connected with this series in a slightly personal way - I have moved back and forth from the southern and northern states in the U.S. and have always felt slightly out of place, not knowing which place I belonged to more. But I think the point is to make the best of where you are at present. Margaret says it best,

”Try as I might, happy as we were, we cannot go back.”

You can find the whole series here.

Horatio Hornblower

Horatio Hornblower (A&E), 1998

I cannot recommend this one enough! This is probably the only show that I can watch with my father and brother, where we are all equally captivated by what's happening. If you like seafaring adventures and history, this one is for you.

Horatio Hornblower is a naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars, trying to prove himself through his actions. He never stays on land for long, usually drawn by the sea and the ships that come and go with it.

There are many well-known actors in Hornblower, and you can truly see their talent shine through. The costumes are spot on along with the scenery. You truly have to give this show a shot to really understand why it’s loved by so many!

You can find the whole series here.

Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend (BBC), 1998

I am honestly quite surprised Our Mutual Friend isn’t talked about more. It’s one of those prime 90’s dramas that still seems to fall under the radar. Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, we are taken to Victorian London, always foggy and seemingly filled with more mysteries than at first glance.

This mini-series doesn’t follow just one character, but several. You may think this would be slightly chaotic and hard to follow, but the BBC pulls it off wonderfully. The plotline revolves around murder, money, society, and a dash of romance. What else could you possibly want? You can find the whole series here (also included on Amazon Prime USA).

I would recommend buying the series yourself, as Amazon Prime does cut out a few scenes. However, they aren’t crucial to the plot if you choose to watch on Prime!

Pride & Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (BBC), 1995

One of my very first period dramas I ever had the pleasure of watching! If you‘re reading The Postmodern Journal, I probably don’t have to tell you what Pride and Prejudice is about, but, nonetheless, this is my favorite adaptation.

What screams comfort and enjoyment more than watching 6 hours of regency romance and wit set in the English countryside? The thing I love about Jane Austen and these adaptations is that you discover or understand something new with every rewatch. Also, it's hard to beat Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy!

You can find the whole series here.

Hopefully, there‘s at least one show from the article that has caught your interest. By all means, go and turn one on and eat some good food, and wear comfy clothes while you’re at it!

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