If you’ve had a bad day, certain TV shows are better than others at getting you over the hump. Forget a reality series or a drama — what you want when you’re looking for a boost is to see characters dealing with the same kind of issues you do. Whether it’s a character falling short on a date or a character saying what you always think, but could never say, seeing issues you can relate to on TV can make anyone feel like they aren’t so alone after all. So with that in mind, here are five shows that will make you feel just a little bit better about yourself.
Louie is king when it comes to pure, real-life awkwardness. For every uncomfortable or embarrassing moment you’ve had, Louie is right there to take it and force you to confront it in a way that will make you laugh. But let’s be honest, you probably haven’t had nearly the number of awkward experiences that Louie has.
Have you been bullied? Well try getting bullied by a high schooler half your age resulting in your date losing all respect for you. Have you ever struggled trying to make new friends? It probably wasn’t as bad as Louie befriending a Cuban immigrant in Miami before accidentally making it seem like he was making a pass at him. And let’s not forget Louie struggling to find a bathroom to poop in only to get repeatedly turned away and decide, on the streets of New York, that he couldn’t make it anymore.
Louie is simply filled to the brim with those moments that make us cringe. But watching the series makes you realize you definitely aren’t the only one having those experiences. Most importantly, Louie reminds you that it’s certainly okay to laugh at yourself once in a while.
2. Master of None
Similar to Louie, Aziz Ansari’s Master of None takes a magnifying glass to life’s most ungraceful moments. But while Louie’s goal seems to be pushing an awkward situation to its breaking point, Master of None is more interested in looking at those small moments that feel big — the kind of thing anyone can relate to. The result is a show that feels a little more realistic even if it’s dealing with the same issues Louie does.
A good example of this is one episode where Ansari snags a date with Alice, a girl he’s had his eye on forever. Everything seems fine until she suddenly goes into her best Cartman impression and there’s a sense that the date is already a lost cause. From there the escalation continues until she’s caught stealing a jacket and thrown out of a venue, as Ansari looks on in horror.
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
If you ever find yourself regretting your actions, look no further than It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to make you feel like you probably could have done something worse. For the uninitiated, episodes of the show generally revolve around the owners of Paddy’s Pub — nicknamed “The Gang” — who get themselves into a series of schemes that only a group of borderline sociopaths fueled by alcohol could think of. This includes an episode where characters Dennis and Dee get addicted to crack in order to qualify for welfare or an attempt to make money from a water stain that looks like Jesus.
4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Stop for a second and think about your day, focusing on all the moments where you wanted to say or do something that could get you in trouble, but found yourself holding back. If you ever wondered what might happen if you didn’t have that filter, look no further than Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David’s fictionalized and exaggerated version of himself is a character with zero restraint — whatever he thinks comes out of his mouth with little regard for consequences. But if Curb Your Enthusiasm teaches you one thing about those moments, it’s that saying what’s on your mind rarely, if ever works out. Luckily we can just watch Larry and laugh.
Are you a twenty-something struggling to adapt to that period between college and a real adult life? Well, the creators of Workaholics know your pain. The series follows recent college graduates Anders, Blake, and Kyle as they attempt to reconcile their day job at a telemarketing firm with their desire to continue living life like nothing’s changed. While the show is incredibly funny and absurd, the core idea behind the series — contemporary post-college life — is actually explored in a way that most recent college grads can relate to.
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