Times are troubling right now. There is no denying that. We all need entertainment and also engagement. That’s why I decided I start writing these articles where I ask you, the readership, to chime in with your own personal answers. I went a little negative the first time, asking what the worst Best Picture winner you’ve seen is. This time, I’m going to be a bit more positive. So the question is this: What show do you watch when you need to decompress?
You know, the show that makes you feel good. Specifically, the kind of show that relieves your stress or anxiety or what have you. A show that makes you feel at peace. There are great shows like, say, Breaking Bad that sometimes you might not be in the mood for. I watch a lot of food-related TV shows, and those are often good for this. Especially something like Nailed It!, which is funny and silly and positive. I enjoy some dark stuff at times, but when I need to decompress I don’t need that.
There are a few shows that I could answer with here, but this was on my mind because of a specific show. Since I have Disney+ at the moment, there’s a show that is back in my life after being gone for a little while: Phineas and Ferb.
I feel like I recommended bingeing this show before, and I was doing that just the other day. If you aren’t familiar, Phineas and Ferb is a Disney cartoon about two brothers who are on a seemingly perpetual summer vacation and every day they try and make the most of it which leads to them doing some sort of insane thing like building a roller coaster through the entire city. It’s a cartoon, after all, and it doesn’t care about the logic of reality. After all, in every episode Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus, Perry, goes off on his secret agent duties to fight his nemesis, and the best character on the show, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
Yeah, it’s a cartoon, and yeah, it’s family friendly. It’s also super funny. There are reasons why I consider it a weirdly comforting show to watch. One, it’s bright and colorful and pleasant to watch visually. It’s funny in a goofy and ridiculous way. They have some clever jokes on par with anything you’d find in a sitcom for adults. It’s largely a positive show, which is good when you don’t want to consider the negativity of the world. Also, and this is actually to its detriment at times, it’s a bit formulaic. Most episodes follow the exact same pattern, and in fact since each episode is two stories you basically get the formula twice per episode. Phineas and Ferb come up with a plan. Their sister Candace wants to “bust” them for it. Perry goes off to fight Doofenshmitz. Isabella asks “What you doin?” Perry thwarts Doofenshmirtz and whatever machine he’s built this week. The kids have fun and just before Candace can show what’s happening to her mom everything the boys did disappears, and Candace is disappointed once again.
When I just want to watch TV, that level of formula isn’t always ideal. However, when I am trying to relax it actually is to the show’s benefit. I can get into the rhythms and know what to expect. It allows me brain to be more at ease for a moment. On occasion, that’s vital for one’s mental health.
So there you have it. When I need to decompress, I like to watch Phineas and Ferb. How about you? What’s your show of choice in troubling times?