Our movie guy, Paul McGuire Grimes of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, says there is nothing like combining nostalgia and comfort food to take away your stress. There may be a ton of new shows to watch, but sometimes nostalgic TV provides that comfort for the soul to make you laugh and touch the heart. He has some perfect recommendations.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (Hulu)
This show is far more than a show about high school football. Coach and Tami Taylor were characters who cared deeply for their students and players. They had stern beliefs but came with no judgment to help others when they needed it. The loyalty and leadership style of Coach Taylor along with its themes of community and coming together are vitally important right now
FOOD Pairing: Anything barbeque given its Texas roots and that Jurnee Smollett’s character, Jess, work at her family’s barbeque restaurant. And maybe a glass of wine to cheer on Tami Taylor
GILMORE GIRLS (Netflix)
It would be wrong to describe this as a teen soap style show, as it’s really about the evolution of a mother and daughter’s relationship. Their close connection is like two best friends and unlike other parent/child relationships on screen.
The Gilmores live in the small-town of Stars Hallow that comes with that warm community feel where everyone knows each other but also comes with their own quirks. Rory Gilmore grows up over the course of seven seasons from high school through college as she finds her voice and personality outside of what her mom may have wanted from her. Along the way, she has three strong loves: high school sweetie Dean, rebel Jess, and the wealthy Logan. Strong Gilmore fans have their choice of who was the best boyfriend. I’m a new team Jess fan given what we see in the revival.
Food Pairing: Coffee, coffee, coffee given Lorelei’s obsession and junk food to start your binge whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth time.
THE GOLDEN GIRLS (Hulu)
Looking back at the series, you may not realize how groundbreaking and topical it was as this series featured four older women discussing everything from sex, being gay, AIDS, sexism, death, and more.
Betty White was originally courted to play Blanche given her character of Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, while Rue McClanahan was brought in for Rose given her work with Bea Arthur on Maude. Knowing that they had already played similar roles and wanted to stretch their images, Betty and Rue swapped parts during the audition process and the rest is history.
All four women went on to win Emmys for their work on their show cementing just how iconic and vital each character was to the show.
Food Pairing: Cheesecake, or anything Italian in honor of Sophia and her Sicilian roots.
THE OFFICE (Netflix)
The series has hit a whole new generation thanks to streaming on Netflix and it’s humor continues to stay in the pop culture zeitgeist. Fans continually ask for a reboot, which I don’t see happening. The closest we get are some cast reunion pictures. Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) have a podcast where they do episode recaps and spill the dirt from the set. John Krasinski (Jim) and Steve Carell (Michael) recently reunited when Steve made a guest appearance in John’s YouTube news channel “Some Good News”
It’s mockumentary format continued to be used for series like Parks and Recreation and Modern Family. The show’s cringe comedy stems from witty comebacks, dead pan stares at the camera, and physical humor depending on each character and how the related to Michael or Dwight’s shenanigans.
Food Pairing: Philly Cheesesteak as Dunder Mifflin Paper Company is in Scranton, Pennsylvania.