TV Shows That Will Put You In A Good Mood

When you turn off your TV/alternate viewing device for the night, do you feel worse about the world? Shocker: watching heavy fare House of Cards, Mad Men, or Game of Thrones isn't exactly the most uplifting way to spend your time. Not that we'd ever stop, ourselves. Instead, we like to maintain a bit of balance in our TV consumption. For every show about conniving politicians or murderous adulterers, we like to sit down for something a little more life-affirming.
Stream an old episode of Friends or a new installment of New Girl and remind yourself that there are people who've got your back too. Make yourself feel incredibly together in comparison to the girls on Broad City. Realize there are good people in the world by watching Parks and Recreation or The Voice. Laugh your ass off at Lip Sync Battle. TV doesn't always need to make you think so hard or worry so much. Sometimes, it's just to make you happy.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bravo.
Odd Mom Out

Bravo might be known as the Real Housewives Network, but it does offer some scripted programming and Odd Mom Out is its best. The comedy, created, produced, and starring Jill Kargman, follows the trials an tribulations of Upper East Side mom Jill Weber (Kargman).

Although Jill is surrounded by snooty UES moms, the photographer is much more of a downtown woman. Odd Mom may deal with serious topics like financial anxieties and bad marriages, but it's always just surreal enough to keep you laughing.
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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

At a time when police usually end up in the news because of tragedy, it's good to remember law enforcement actually exists to save the day and protect people. Plus, the Nine-Nine is a precinct filled with people who seriously love each other — and that's always a thing that will warm even the coldest of hearts.

Nine-Nine? Nine-Nine!
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Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

Sometimes it's a delight to be sucked into a world where bad guys can be defeated, and people have concrete life purposes. Unlike Buffy, most of our roles are not as defined as "vampire slayer."
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Scrubs

When you're tired of the absolute melodrama of most medical shows — looking at you, Grey's Anatomy — seek hilarity with the doctors of Sacred Heart hospital. Scrubs is one of those great, consistently hilarious, long-running sitcoms. After nine seasons, you'll consider the characters to be your great friends.
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Superstore

The Office mined the doldrums and menial tasks of that 9-5 life for endless jokes and humor. Recognizing a good format for a sitcom when he sees one, Justin Spitzer, one of The Office's producers, created another workplace comedy. This time, the quirky employees convene in a retail store called Cloud 9 in St. Louis, Missouri. You'll never look at a Walmart greeter the same way again.
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Parks and Recreation

With its rate of a joke a minute, this show about an Indiana municipal parks and recreation department will bring you endless joy.
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Arrested Development

All families are dysfunctional — but not all dysfunctional families are funny. Over the show's four seasons, the Bluth family's neuroses weave together in an intricate quilt of inside jokes. How many of the self-referential jokes can you catch?
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The Great British Bake Off

Each year, twelve amateur bakers gather in a tent in the English countryside, and whip up elaborate cakes, pies, scones, and treats to satisfy the whims of judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. This delightful show is the opposite of American cooking shows. There's no prize money at stake, and when the bakers finish early, they help their opponents. You'll be in a good mood before the cookies are out of the oven.
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Lovesick

After getting diagnosed with chlamydia, Dylan (Johnny Flynn) has to inform his list of ex-partners. Each episode focuses on a different person in Dylan's history. The charming show follows Dylan and his group of 20-something friends as they earnestly navigate romance and friendship.
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Courtesy of Netflix
Chewing Gum

Tracy grew up in a very conservative household in the suburbs of London, but that can't stop her sexual appetite from bubbling over. This bubbly, hilarious comedy tracks Tracy's noble quest to lose her virginity. But trust us — Tracy's journey out of the cave will be cringeworthy.
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Twentieth Century Fox Television/REX/Shutterstock
Bob's Burgers

Like all adult cartoons, Bob's Burgers has an adult edge. But the endearing Belcher family at the heart of the show might just be the greatest group of people on TV. While Bob is often bewildered and astounded by his family's antics, there's nothing but love in this positive, affirming show. Watch Bob's Burgers and celebrate the Tina within.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Don't write this off as a kid's show just yet. The Netflix adaptation of the legendary kids’ book series is actually one of the most clever and utterly delightful shows to grace our TV screens. All of your favorite characters are back, including Lemony Snicket himself, who narrates the show and desperately urges the viewer to “look away” before events get truly grisly. And after Baudelaire orphans are left in the hands of the sinister Count Olaf and at the mercy of the strange adult world, things are bound to get interesting. The show is just as playful and intelligent as the books, and will make you feel just as happy. Don't look away.
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Photo: HBO
High Maintenance
This series — which migrated from the web to HBO — takes you into the wonderfully weird world of weed delivery. More specifically, it gives you a glimpse into the lives of the customers who call upon their friendly neighborhood drug dealer. One episode, titled "Grandpa" is told entirely from the perspective of a big, fluffy dog. What's not to love?
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Photo: Netflix
Fuller House
If you loved the light fare of Full House in the '90s, this dose of nostalgia might be exactly what you need to cheer yourself up. Since all of the episodes stream at once on Netflix, binging on this sitcom is the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.
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Photo: NBC
The Good Place
When trash-talking, ultra-selfish Eleanor ends up in "The Good Place" due to a clerical error, she must find a way to fit in — which means fighting her urges to be bad. It's a redemption story that's filled with plenty of laughs, heart-warming moments, and screen time for Kristen Bell.
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Photo: The CW
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
There's scheming, rapid-fire dialogue, and, of course, theatrical dance numbers. Even the sadder elements of the show (like, say, Greg waving West Covina goodbye) receive a ridiculous song tie-in.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
American Housewife
Because Katy Mixon is a delight, and somehow makes everyday miserable situations seem relatable and uplifting.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
This Is Us
No matter what your current situation is, you'll find a character to relate to. And the surprise twist at the end of the pilot will make anyone smile.
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Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
The Simpsons
Because, in 30 minutes, it is inevitable that a Homer Simpson will make you laugh out loud.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Black-ish
Because Kenya Barris created an instantly likable, relatable, hilarious American family with no need for a laugh track.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Modern Family
Because every dysfunctional, hilarious episode always ends with a non-sappy happy ending that doesn't feel overwrought — and they do it without a laugh track.
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Photo: Courtesy of Comedy Central.
Inside Amy Schumer
The ineffable Schumer delightfully nails her formula week after week: self-deprecation combined with self-empowerment combined with heavy doses of hilarity.
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Photo: Courtesy of TV Land.
Younger
Though the heart of the new TV Land show's premise is that women over 40 should lie about their age, everything else about the series is uplifting. You've got three of the funniest actresses on TV — Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, and Debi Mazar — talking about lady issues, careers, and friendship in beautiful, supportive ways, while the boys are mostly just around for eye candy. No wonder you feel like calling your best friend after watching this.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Friends
Speaking of supportive, it's pretty clear that Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, and Ross would be in some kind of scary, dark place if they didn't have each other. Now that Friends is on Netflix, you can flip it on and watch how a joke with a good buddy can soothe every problem, from divorce and unemployment to pregnancy and unrequited love.
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Photo: Ray Mickshaw/FOX.
New Girl
Filling the hole that Friends left, this other sitcom also features cohabitating buddies always on the cusp of getting their lives together without quite making it across the finish line. New Girl offers humor that's just a little sillier, and not quite as broad, as its predecessor. And, while your friends might not be models or the world's laziest bartenders, you can just as easily imagine yourselves inventing a drinking game like True Americans at the end of a long week.
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Photo: John P. Fleenor/FOX.
The Mindy Project
In real life, the moment when you realize you're old enough to have friends who are doctors (or you become one yourself) can make you feel pressure to act like a "responsible" adult. That's why there is something so inspiring in the way Mindy Kaling's Mindy Lahiri consistently screws things up in her personal life and yet continues to be a successful Ob/Gyn. Half an hour with these docs confirms that growing up doesn't mean you have to compromise your romantic notions.
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Photo: Lane Savage/Comedy Central.
Broad City
Speaking of growing up — who needs it? If Ilana and Abbi can make it in New York City being marginally employed and smoking pot all day, why can't you? Even when we don't partake ourselves, these girls' adventures always give us a contact high and leave us feeling that at the end of every awkward situation, there's a slightly less awkward resolution.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Happy Endings
Once you get over the fact that this sitcom's own premature end was not a happy one, a visit with hilariously dysfunctional friends Jane, Brad, Penny, Alex, Max, and Dave is like a dose of uppers. They never fail to make the worst decisions, and never fail to make us guffaw at embarrassing volumes. We don't care if that countdown clock was for an April Fools' Day joke, not a real revival of the short-lived show; we are holding out hope that it will happen ... one day.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Parks And Recreation
The gang from Pawnee may have packed up for good, but we can still watch past episodes for a fix of Amy Poehler and company. While global politics can seem irrevocably f-ed and we're already weary of the 2016 presidential race, Leslie Knope's relentless drive to make a difference in her community gives us hope that there are well-meaning folks in government. Okay, maybe those people are fictional, but let us believe in them for a few minutes!
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
World and local news can get us so worked up...or dragged down. But, if the ridiculousness of current events are boiled down and filtered through the eyes of John Oliver, they are imminently less depressing. His relentless logic and occasional use of puppets calm our worries for the future. Somehow, though we've been clutching our stomachs laughing, we also feel smarter at the end of every installment.
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Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
We love to gorge ourselves on juicy celebrity gossip as much as the next person, but sometimes it feels even better to watch celebrities in the good-natured hands of a late-night host. Famous folks feel so comfortable with Jimmy Fallon, they wind up doing absolutely embarrassing things, proving that they can be entertaining without opening up about their deepest, darkest secrets.
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Photo: Courtesy of SPIKE.
Lip Sync Battle
To anyone who's heard of the internet, it should be of no surprise that Fallon's spinoff has become a huge hit. It's impossible not to smile while watching someone as insanely talented as Anna Kendrick "compete" in something we do in our own bedrooms. Plus, there's Chrissy Teigen there to make us grin even wider.
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Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
iZombie
The circumstances of Liv Moore's un-death are incredibly unfair (a random attack at a party she didn't even want to go to), but eventually, she deals with its aftermath in such a life-affirming way: working at the morgue and eating the brains of the dead to solve their murders. The sparkling dialogue of Veronica Mars' Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright sure helps, too.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC.
Doctor Who
Don't knock our geekiness until you've tried it, guys. Any time you're feeling down about the human race, all you need is to listen to a speech by the alien time lord about how beautiful we are — with our big dreams and big, dumb flaws. Spend an hour traveling with him through all of space and time, and you'll find you either escaped reality for a nice spell or your fictional adventure gave you a good dose of perspective.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
The Voice
It doesn't matter if you're totally sick of the singing competition show format, or if you never agree with the winners. Tune into The Voice to see extremely successful people say extremely encouraging things — and ignore the fact that, in all likelihood, the contestants won't really be following in their footsteps. It's just nice to suspend disbelief for a show-business fairy tale once in a while.
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Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Jane The Virgin
There is so much about this telenovela adaptation that could represent your own personal hell: accidental pregnancies, in-laws with scary drug lord connections, long-lost fathers, jealous fiances. What makes the show work, however, is the endearing, upbeat attitude of the characters, reflected in their sunny Miami setting. And, despite all the melodrama, their loving relationships (especially between Jane, her mother, and her abuela), give us the warm fuzzies.
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Photo: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Talk about upbeat in the face of crazy. In lesser hands, Kimmy's positivity could be just plain annoying. Instead, as we watch Ellie Kemper's character navigate life above ground on the mean streets (or, you know, gorgeous townhouses) of NYC, her "unbreakable" qualities are practically contagious. Choice quotes, songs and outfits by Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) complete the package of sunshiny joy.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Fresh Off The Boat
Because Constance Wu is basically our favorite new comedic actress on TV. And anything involving a childlike nostalgia for '90s hip-hop makes us smile.
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