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What's your comfort TV (and how has your taste changed)?


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As I get a bit older I find more and more that I watch and enjoy stuff that I would never have considered even a few years ago, stuff that I find quite relaxing and almost enjoy because they have an innocence about them. It's made even nicer as the nights start to close in, too.

Indeed, one of my most-watched channels now is Yesterday; I've found myself really getting into Coast and Great British Railway Journeys (Michael Portillo is quite an amiable host). There's also Museum Secrets, which is full of interesting little tid-bits, plus loads of other one-off documentaries. It has also led to an interest in Dr Lucy Worsley, whose manner of presenting is rather alluring.

But, I digress. Great British Bake Off sits nicely here, too, because it's just such a nice, well-mannered competition and is one of the few things I watch that isn't on Yesterday, come to think of it.

So, at the risk of sounding like a man of more advanced years, what are your favourite comfort shows? How has your taste changed from, say, your 20s to your 30s? Does the propensity of sex and violence on TV make you a bit sad?

This thread may well die on its arse, but let's see if we can come have some general 'pleasant TV' conversation.

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Nothing too flamboyant.

That immediately wipes out Paul fucking. Hollywood and company!

I'm Definately a documentary kinda guy. I'll watch almost any.

The only trash tv I watch are the Amercian ones like Pawn stars or Dogg the bounty hunter.. Because it's fun!

Oh, and the one where Steven segal is a copper.

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Come Dine With Me is a staple for me. Especially when they cram all four evenings into a single hour episode, and you get to watch it rapidly descend into drunkenness, tears and bitching in the taxis on the way home.

And then the contestant who comes last pretends to laugh it off during the results. But you can see the cold anger in their eyes.

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Anything housebuilding/maintenance/buying...not gardens though! Bollocks to Gardening since my Azalea stopped flowering (curse you Monty!). S'pose my perfect comfort show would be a mashup of Escape To The Country and Grand Designs hosted by a slightly sturdy milf :wub:

Also that docu-series about the dude from London that moved to one of the remotest parts of Scotland and lived in a shack by a lake/the sea to 'live off the land', Sunday evenings BBC2 a couple years back - anyone remember the name? twas blindingly cosy.

F :blah::blah: k I'm an old fart.

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Anything housebuilding/maintenance/buying...

Restoration Man is the bomb. Most of the others are a bit so-so.

Anyway I find I watch much less live sport now. I'd much rather watch a 20 minute highlights package of a game of football than watch it live in most cases. Also I haven't watched a proper drama series since Breaking Bad, and now that HIMYM and The Office have been put out of their misery the only US comedy I watch is Parks & Rec.

It's mostly been replaced with BBC2 documentaries - Natural World is always good, Mason McQueen is basically my new hero (well maybe in 2nd place after Simon Reeve), and that hippy who bought a bit of the Amazon was quite funny just for his total naivety - and Made In Chelsea. I wish I could blame the latter on my girlfriend but I actually got her into it. Basically I challenge anyone to watch the first series and not be instantly hooked.

I also watch Geordie Shore but I can't even pretend that's good.

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Anything with Michael Palin traveling.

I fucking love Michael Palin travelogs. He's always willing to get involved and aside from his occasional played up (I hope) moments of 'Britishness', he's a really easy watch and relaxing guide.

I'm also extremely jealous he's gotten to visit all these wonderful places.

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Was: sitcoms.

Now: reality tv (especially lifestyle - fashion, cooking, health).

Do they even make sitcoms any more?

Not traditional ones which were the staple diet of 70's 80's and early 90's TV.

It really annoys me to be honest, as I would rather watch a average sitcom than almost any thing that gets passed off for television these days.

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Worst of all though is Take Me Out and Don't Tell The Bride

I love DTTB. I watched an Irish version last week and everyone was just so nice, they clearly don't understand TV. The women were sweet and appreciative of their men, the men were humble and just wanted the women to have a great day... it was bizarre. Compare this to the English version where every bloke is a selfish arsehole who doesn't know his future wife at all, and every girl is a spoiled brat who has an obsession with being a 'princess' (seriously, listen out for it - at least once per episode).

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Don't Tell The Bride is eternally given a free pass simply for this episode, where the groom and his best man went to Vegas for a week with the money, spunked loads of the cash up the wall to the extent that they lacked enough budget for all the bride's family to attend, and resulted in the bride having a breakdown on TV.

The best bit was when the groom, waking up in his Vegas suite after a night at the tables, answers his phone expecting his fiancee to joyfully tell him that he is the greatest man in the world for surprising her with a wedding in a casino. His face when he hears his beloved tearfully telling him that he is a bastard for not having her brother at the wedding and that she is calling it all off is AMAZING.

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Anything housebuilding/maintenance/buying...

Similar, but I can't watch just anything though. There are a few shows that I will watch if I flick over and they are on; Escape to the Country, A Place in the Sun: Home or Away, Grand Designs, Wheeler Dealers, Come Dine With Me (especially the five episode marathons) and I totally love The Hotel Inspector (the Alex Polizzi one only).

I also went through a phase of watching police shows like Road Wars, but have now moved onto customs programmes like UK Border Force and Nothing to Declare (the Aussie version).

I did have a brief flirtation with Storage Wars, but soon got over that.

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Friends is always on so can comfortably re-watch that forever.

Some other shows already mentioned in the thread that I'd consider comfort TV are; Escape to the Country, Grand Designs and Restoration Man.

Others that come to mind are Amazing Spaces, Countryfile, How It's Made, Nothing to Declare/Border Security and shows about animals/wildlife.

I also find myself watching the NHK World channel a lot (Sky channel 507) as they tend to have interesting (to me at least) stuff on there quite a bit, for example they had a show about art presented by BEAT Takeshi which I found a lot more interesting than I was expecting.

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I do enjoy history programs more now if only because of HD broadcasts, you can actually agree with the host's enthusiasm when he points out an exquistely detailed building rather than squinting and going "well, I suppose so."

Otherwise something like Arrow is my ideal fare these days. Ridiculous enough to relax me when watching but also exciting and diverting enough to keep my attention.

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I used to really like Come Dine With Me, but somewhere along the line it/I changed and it does nothing for me these days. Actually, cookery-based programs in general have lost my eye, as have property-based programs, both of which I used to enjoy.

I've moved more towards historical documentaries - Raiders of the Lost Art (also on Yesterday) is good.

I do miss a good sitcom, though. I can't think what the last series I tried to get into was; probably the US Office, which I gave up on after 3/4 series.

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Friends and CSI and it's great because you can almost guarantee there is an episode of one and/or the other on at any given point in time.

Scrubs used to be like that for me, when it was on all the time on ABC1 and Channel4/E4. I used to watch loads of repeats of its early seasons, but eventually stopped watching because I was never sure of the schedule for the new episodes. I still enjoyed the few new episodes I did catch, but I never really got into it again, and stopped watching the repeats too. I suppose I just found its schtick got old!

... On the other hand, there's a sitcom I doubt will ever lose its appeal: Frasier. I own a few seasons of it on DVD, but I still occasionally catch a listing for one of Channel 4's daily morning repeats, think "Haven't seen that one in a while!"... and then set my PVR to series link the whole lot. All over again. :wub:

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