Survey: Americans soothe themselves by watching old TV re-runs

Jun 7, 2023, 8:35 AM | Updated: 12:05 pm

It was a stressful day at the office for Tina Limburger-Harten. She and her husband own a plumbing company in Michigan, and it has been exceptionally busy these days post-pandemic. When she gets home, all she wants to do is escape from the madness and feel like old times when life was easier, and there wasn’t so much unrest in the world.

“I watch the Golden Girls to unwind,” said Limburger-Harten. “It reminds me of simpler times. When the pressure of life didn’t feel so heavy.”

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She’s not alone. CableTV.com asked 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18-54+  if there is a show they watch when times get tough, and 87% said, yup!

“I spend my days in people’s houses who are normally experiencing emergencies with plumbing. So I am in their space and manage their issues. So not only do I have to help with the problem,  I sometimes have to talk them down from a ledge of panic,” Limburger-Harten said. “So not only is my job physically draining, but can also be emotionally draining. I see people in an intimate way. I am in their private space.  So, when I get home. I want something that brings me to simpler times. When everything seemed easier. Where I can shut off what I have seen or done that day.”

Cable TV said the most popular comfort shows are Friends for comedy, The Office for drama, and Star Trek for Sci-Fi.

I was curious to see if there were any other comfort shows my friends watched, so I made a post on Facebook, and my friends didn’t disappoint.

Justin Robinson of Seattle said he just finished watching the Golden Girls series and Seinfeld. He also likes game shows.

“Two comfort shows I have are Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! I watch ’em fairly often because that’s what I would watch with my grandparents (and I love gaming),” Robinson said. “Remember the scene in Ratatouille when the grumpy chef eats dinner, and it transports him back to his childhood with nostalgia? That’s essentially it for me. It gives me an hour to just be in that moment with my memories.”

CableTV.com said it’s normal to have a comfort TV show and that watching re-runs can offer emotional support and help with our mental well-being.

What’s your comfort TV show?

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Survey: Americans soothe themselves by watching old TV re-runs