Comfort foods. We all have them. For me, it’s mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and chicken noodle soup.
I think we have comfort TV shows too, those shows that we like to go back and watch even though we’ve seen them dozens of times. Maybe it’s an old sitcom that when we look at it rationally and as mature adults, we think, ‘that’s so cheesy!’ while at the same time settling in to watch it…again.
For me, the ultimate comfort show is The Brady Bunch. Just hearing the music that’s in the background every time we see the exterior of the Brady house has a soporific effect on me. It’s like all the worries and responsibilities of being an adult fall away and I’m a little kid again watching reruns of The Brady Bunch while my older brothers and sister are at school.
I have certain episodes of The Brady Bunch practically memorized. My favorite is “Our Son, The Man,” the one where a 14-year-old Greg is a high school freshman and decides that he’s a Man. He is pompous to his siblings, calls his parents Carol and Mike, and wants his own room. He gets the room and it is…Groovy. As is Greg. He gets a whole new look!
But it’s not just The Brady Bunch. I was a kid in the 70’s, so if I come across an episode of Happy Days, One Day at a Time, MASH, Mork and Mindy, WKRP in Cincinnati, or even the ridiculous Three’s Company, I’ll pause and watch a bit if only to feel like a kid again. Some are so bad, like Gilligan’s Island and Three’s Company that I can only linger for a few minutes before my rational brain kicks in and I think, ‘this is so bad, I can’t believe I’m watching it.’ I flip the channel. Others, though, like WKRP or MASH still hold up (at least some episodes) and I’ll dig in for the entire 23 minutes.
It doesn’t get much funnier than the WKRP episode where they dropped turkeys from a helicopter as a Thanksgiving promotional stunt. I’ll never forget Mr. Carlson saying, “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
Whether it’s for an entire episode or only a few minutes, it’s worth it. It feels like one of those summer days as a kid, with no school, when all I had to do was play.
Do you have a comfort show?