For some reason, two of my all-time favorite "comfort shows" are Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life.
On the surface, I have to wonder why I relate to them so strongly. They take place in the early Eighties and early Nineties, respectively; I was still a wee one wearing stirrup leggings and scrunchies instead of flannel. Also, they're set in high schools, and who considers returning to awkward adolescent situations comforting? (Though these shows try to be more realistic than most, there are still formulaic moments, like cheerleader crushes and raging mansion parties complete with roof dives into the pool.)
But deep down, I know it's the portrayed relationships I care about, and behind those, the actors, storyline, and emotional heart. Even the parents have so much depth that I loved them as much as any of the other characters! After all, there's a reason these one season shows have become cult classics, and I think it must be because we all feel that connection. (I cried at least once during every episode of My So-Called Life. But then again there may just be something wrong with me in particular, haha.)
When I want to get utterly lost in a strong television arc, I have several shows to choose from, several that will always remain favorites. But these two have a special place in my heart.
What are your guilty pleasure "comfort shows"?
Sidenote: Isn't it funny that this generation has turned to nostalgia for its childhood so quickly? Our grandparents rightfully reminisce about the Forties, and our parents about the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties - but everyone my age is already obsessed with the toys, commercials, Nickelodeon cartoons, and pop music of our elementary school glory days. I have yet to fathom why this nostalgia emerged so early...but I can't help but like it. (Anyone else been watching The '90s Are All That this summer?)