Brian Broome wrote an article Monday of this week (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/25/comfort-tv-golden-girls-escape/) about turning off “the strife” in our relentlessly cruel, crazy world. His solution is to watch comfort TV, and he listed his favorites.
He said: “And I watch them over and over. I long ago memorized all the dialogue and every twist and turn that these shows and episodes will take.”
Broome noted that, “You might even engage in this soothing ritual alone . . . .[because you] just can’t deal with the outside world. . . . We are supposed to ignore those nagging feelings of worry, angst and helplessness . . . .”
Broome’s article resonated with me because I also watch comfort and escape shows and also because this is also something that disabled people sometimes do. See my blog post of October 1, 2019: https://disabilitydisability.blogspot.com/2019/10/do-you-watch-tv.html
As I pointed out in that blog, taken from my book on how to apply for Social Security & SSI disability, claimants for disability benefits actually have to explain their “watching television” so as not to be denied benefits.
Social Security disability administrative law judges are trained, when questioning about memory issues, to ask claimants, “Can you follow the story on TV[?]”
Television comfort shows, as I have written, serve many purposes:
“In reality many people leave a television on as background noise or to offset other noise in an apartment building or on the street outside, as a way to block out intrusive thoughts and/or as company when lonely and depressed. Many people identify with the characters portrayed in television series—they become almost like real friends. Many people will doze off for brief periods when watching television particularly people who are in constant pain and people who are unable to sleep through the night. Perhaps a claimant may be able to concentrate on television programs, and that while watching TV, his pain is somewhat dulled.”