There are a few things you can always count on for comfort during a difficult time, like nostalgic dishes (hello, mac n cheese) or that one song that gets you dancing regardless of how terrible your mood. Then of course there's good ol' television — something that's soothed so many people since childhood, for better or for worse. And there's just something about certain throwback TV shows that always seem to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy no matter how many time's you've seen them. Think of them as the security blanket of entertainment.
"Favorite shows" is such a subjective category, as some people prefer high stakes drama while others like a messy reality show (no judgement). But for the most part, when you're looking to binge a series that provides a killed combo of feel-good factors — a certain sentimentality that takes you back to a different era (whether one you lived through or not), iconic fashions, a little romance, and some belly laughs — a few always float to the top.
Thanks to modern technology, you can also easily hop back in time and watch many such quintessential shows through your favorite steaming services, and it's not a bad way to pass the time. So when you're not tuning into your favorite digital workout or toiling away in the kitchen as a means of passing time while being productive and reducing stress, don't underestimate the calming effects of watching one of the 10 throwback shows ahead — cocktail optional.
I Love Lucy
It might be wholesome by today's standards (and that's one of its many charming aspects), but this 1950s comedy starring the ahead-of-her-time Lucile Ball is still just as funny as ever. That famous conveyer belt moment? Literally never gets old. Stream them all now on Hulu.
If it's comedy and wild fashion moments you're craving, it might be time to touch back down on the 1990s British series that focused around the hijinks of iconic duo Edina and Patsy — which is currently available for viewing on Hulu.
In the late '90s and early 2000s, practically every teen girl identified with Keri Russell's Felicity, from the dramatic breakup haircut to having to choose between the sweet but "safe" guy and the complicated creative one. Revive all the moments through ABC's streaming service now.
Golden Girls was basically the SATC of the '80s, if you think about it — just with a slightly more mature cast. And that's kind of the best thing about it. Rose, Blanche, Dorothy, and Sophia were raunchy and clever, but the centerpiece of the show was their friendship, and that's why so many people tune back even decades later.
Beverly Hills, 90210
Even if it's from before your time, this quintessential '90s series is worth a watch for the back-in-style fashions and melodramatic storylines. Watch again or for the very first time on CBS, Amazon Prime (select seasons), or Hulu.
Millennials everywhere rejoiced when this fashion-forward teen drama became available to watch all over again on Netflix. The series is said to be moving to HBO Max next month, so binge while you can.
Sex and the City
A few of the fashions and storylines remain forever controversial, but you just can't deny the fact that this show is a cultural touchstone — which is why you can watch it over and over again. The full series is currently available via HBO Now.
My So-Called Life
Two words: Jordan Catalano. Regardless of whether or not you were a teen in the '90s, it's easy to identify with the themes of this short-lived show: Fitting in, first love, and friends and family drama. Since there's only one season, it's easy to binge in a day or so via the ABC app or Amazon Prime.
Even if you've seen it so many times you're mouthing every single line, Friends still never seems to get old. It's typically airing somewhere or another on various cable networks, but you can always purchase episodes on Amazon Prime, YouTube, or iTunes.
It's the age old question: Pacey or Dawson? No matter which camp you fall into, going down memory lane with this crew is like chicken soup for the soul. See all the '90s/2000s nostalgia on Hulu now.