Sometimes in life, you need to turn off your brain for awhile in order to properly deal with the myriad things stressing you out. And what better style to do that than by watching a little reality TV? It seems like a good idea until you realize that most reality demonstrates are a frenzied parade of “GO GO GO! DID KAREN KISS ADAM? SEAN’S NOT GETTING A ROSE. OOPS, LOOKS LIKE YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE OMELET WE WANTED OUT OF THE PEANUT BUTTER AND HAM POWDER WE GAVE YOU AS INGREDIENTS. YOU ARE ELIMINATED. TIME TO CRY.”

That omelet is suddenly a metaphor for your boss, or your term paper, or all of those banana costumes you shoplifted from the Halloween store. Reality TV feeds on constant turmoil, and watching them to deal with your anxiety is like eating a stranger’s shoes to deal with your deficiency of human contact. But there are a few shows that reject the all-drama-all-the-time paradigm, and are instead made to actively help you loosen. Proves like…


The Great British Baking Show ( Netflix )

You may think a competitive cooking prove could never be loosening. Far too many of them involve a boy with a better haircut than you telling people to go home since they are didn’t have the flair to create a filet mignon out of coconut shavings and an old wig. But The Great British Baking Show is not that at all.

First off, it doesn’t feel like a competition in the slightest. A TV tournament sort of implies that there would be, ya know, some kind of angry competitive heart amongst the contenders, but if you were to cut someone in The Great British Baking Show off in traffic, they would follow you home just to secured you a nice coffee cake. Everyone is so supportive of each other, and it’s not uncommon to see contenders helping one another finish, encouraging each other to keep going when things don’t go as planned, or genuinely congratulating one another on a big win. As someone who’s really used to challengers hollering at themselves and others, it nearly seems sarcastic.

It’s so nice to watch a competition present where no one “isn’t there to make friends.” In reality, they’re pretty much everything there is to build lifelong pals and delicious cakes. And while they cook the cakes and are pleasant to one another, the hosts whisper about how yummy their cakes will be and demonstrate you a lovely picture of the best possible version of the cake they are making. At its essence, this show is just British people whispering to you about baked goods. Forget rain or forest interferences; I want an app for that to put on when I got to sleep.

The stakes for winning are fairly low, since there is no cash prize. Yeah, everyone wants to win, but no one is there so they can render cancer treatment for their brother or pay their mortgage or open up their dreaming Thai/ German fusion restaurant. Everyone is there because they are super into baking. It’s basically summer camp for kitchen nerds.

While the formula for most reality depicts is Terrible People+ Alcohol= Train Wreck, The Great British Baking Show utilizes Wonderful People+ Baked Goods= Peaceful Boat Ride. It’s a fantastic behavior to remind you that there are good people in this world, and they’re all in Britain, and they all know what a tea loaf is.


Property Brother ( HGTV )

Watch two gorgeous men do light construction work on homes either already perfectly fine to begin with. It sounds like the most boring premise in the world, but Property Brother is somewhat universal beloved. The lamest friend is even going to be on Dancing With The Stars this season, and when Dancing With The Stars says you’re a starring which are required to be danced with, you’ve truly attained it.

When you tune into Property Brothers , you already know how every episode will be terminated. No one ever says “Burn in inferno, the Brothers Property, as this backsplash looks like turds.” You’ll never hear “I asked for ointment tile and this is clearly eggshell, so I guess I have to abandon you to die of exposure on the spacious kitchen island you built for me, you heinous building siblings.”

The show is routine and predictable in such a way that real life isn’t. You never know what’s be happening when you go to a job interview or out on a date, but you always are well aware that the Property Brothers are going to build a kickass staircase that will stimulate your panties wing off. Then, when you go to get new panties, you find that all of your panties are moved. You go to the store to buy more panties, and the clerk explains to you that all of the panties simply vanished after last night’s episode of Property Friend aired. You can’t ever wear underwear again. That’s how good that staircase was.

Sometimes you just want to watch something that you know will not surprise you in any way. Something that won’t challenge you or raise your heart rate by any tiny quantity. Property Brothers is comfort food. It’s the mac and cheese of reality TV( Jonathan is clearly the cheese ). You know what it’s going to be every time, and every time, it’s delicious mac and cheese.


Too Cute !( Animal Planet )

You would be surprised at how few Animal Planet depicts can be described with “a show about cute animals.” I thought that was what Animal Planet was for. Having the name “animal” in the title at the least implies that it will devote some of its programming to the adorable various kinds of those, but apparently it’s now for shows about building tree houses and searching for Bigfoot, live animals I do not find cute at all. Not even a little bit.

I don’t want Animal Planet to discover Bigfoot. However, if they have footage of him and a mini pony learning to swim together, I will buy the season box determined. And that’s why Too Cute ! is perfect for me. It’s about tiny baby animals being too cute. So cute it will ignite your skin. The cuteness will rain down upon you, crushing you under its physical weight, but Animal Planet will not relent. The cuteness assails you , no matter how much you beg, and it’s pretty great!

Some people like watching cute animals because it makes them think of the innocence and purity that still exists in the world. And I understand that. Most news tales might as well have the headline “Something Bad, You Just Know It Is likely to be Something Bad.” Breaks from that to be addressed by wide-eyed child critters are such a succor. However, I, as a terrible person, have a different motive. I like to look at cute animals and know that I am for sure superior to them without seeming bad for judging someone else. When a stupid hedgehog has its head stuck in a toilet paper tube, I take comfort in the fact that I haven’t gotten my head stuck in anything for like three weeks. Suck it, hedgehog. If you’re fail at even life’s most basic undertakings, try relaxing to an episode of Too Cute ! and wallowing in your newfound appreciation of superiority to baby animals.


Ozzy And Jack’s World Detour ( History Channel )

Want to watch a guy and his cool papa who only speaking on mumbles go on a sweet vacation? Check out Ozzy And Jack’s World Detour . When I found out that Ozzy Osbourne was on a History Channel show, it felt like my life had come full circle. I remember watching him be standing and watch the History Channel all day on The Osbournes . I assume that the channel felt that they owed him for all the free advertising in 2005, and as thanks, offered to pay for him and his son to go on a super chill vacation together while they filmed it. Take that as a lesson: If you like something for long enough, that something will notice that you like it and ask you to be a part of it. Also, this lesson only applies if you’re famous.

Not simply does this prove radiate with The Osbournes nostalgia, but it also highlightings the extremely enjoying relationship between Ozzy and Jack. No show has ever attained me want to call my dad more. It’s getting slightly less rare to see adoration families on TV, but there was a recent stage during which every show about their own families had to be full of horrible people who disliked one another. They might have made up by the end of each episode, but they were never not ten minutes away from suffocating each other in their sleep in some kind of weird pillow asphyxiation conga line.

Jack and Ozzy make each other shit constantly, but they never fight, and there’s never any tension between them. They merely hang out, sit in gigantic comfy-looking white chairs, hug, and talking here history. Here’s a typical excerpt that highlights their dynamic.

Ozzy: “I detest leaf blowers.”

Jack: “I’m get you a leaf blower for Christmas.”

Ozzy: “Fuck off.”

Jack: * giggles *

And that’s what true love looks like, people. If you aren’t very interested in Ozzy And Jack’s World Detour , you aren’t interested in relaxing household vacations and fatherly desire, and I don’t want to know you.


Slow Tv( Netflix )

“Slow TV” is a big trend in Norwegian television wherein a live event is watched in it’s totality without editing, and it’s pretty much the best. The most popular Slow TV show, which 20 percent of Norway’s population tuned into at some level, involved four hours of discussion and chopping firewood, then an additional eight hours of timber igniting while Norwegian folk music played in the background. That’s it. The closest it got to desperate rivalry was when they let Norwegians call in and vote on additional log placement while the fire was igniting. Basically, this really is Norway’s version of American Idol , and the log somewhat to the left of centre is their Kelly Clarkson.

You can watch the Slow TV magic on Netflix, and they don’t simply do firewood. You can also watch a straight sevens hours of salmon angling, an 11 -hour boat ride, or my personal favorite, a 12 -hour knitting competitor. The knitting reveal has a segment which shows the process of sweater creation, from shearing the sheep, to spinning the woolen into yarn, to finally knitting the sweater, and I watched pretty much the entire four-hour segment. Do you know how low the stakes are in a Norwegian knitting rivalry? It’s basically telling you “Go ahead. Nap. We definitely don’t mind.”

Why would I do that to myself, you ask? Because there’s comfort in the mundane, and there’s nothing more mundane than four hours of a sweater getting constructed real good. I don’t do material with my hands, so I’m always thinking about how great it would be to have an actual ability wherein I could wake up with some string and two stays and magically have a sweater, or at least a sleeve, by the end of the day. Nonetheless, acquiring the time and patience to make that happen is just not happening for me. I have to put too much day and resources into thinking up good dick jokes. I can watch someone else stimulate that sweater the working day, though, and seem pretty damn good about it.

Also, as a novelist, I’m very good at entertaining myself, and I received myself creating my own little dramas. The narrative arc of the friendship between Rolf the Champion Sheep Shearer and Guri the Sheep was Oscar-worthy. Step aside, La La Land . So much trust and desire was portrayed over the hours between their meet and the actual shearing taking place. I didn’t need reality Tv producers to get Rolf and Guri drunk and have them fist-fight. I could select the amount of drama I wanted to inject into the scenario( which was pretty much none ), and sit back and enjoy the knitting.

And the Academy Award for Best Everything goes to sheep in general. You are my sunshine, fellas.

You can follow Lydia on Twitter .

While you’re watching the sheep channel, you can help reduce stress by squeezing the life out of this sheep .

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