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10 great feel-good TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services

The cast of Community
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

What takes you to your happy place at the end of a long working day? A sitcom featuring characters you have a real affinity with? A fun or heartwarming reality show? Or just a breezy cooking series?

While it's great to dive into the best Netflix shows in search of the latest big drama, sometimes you just want comfort food TV.

This is a list of those types of TV series, chosen by our team of writers who currently do nothing but watch streaming services (and play games). We've selected a few of our favorite feel-good TV shows below, and explained where you can stream them in the US and UK. If you need a new 'go-to' show to get you through the lockdown, you should be able to find one here. 

The Chef Show

The Chef Show

(Image credit: Netflix)

Where to stream it: Netflix (US and UK)

The Chef Show isn’t exactly a high-brow cooking show and that’s what makes it great. After working with chef Roy Choi on the film Chef, Jon Favreau decided that he didn’t want the food truck to stop there and reunited with Choi for this cooking travelogue series. While The Chef Show gives us an insight into some top-tier restaurants, the best parts are when Choi and Favreau team up in the kitchen (often with a celebrity guest) to cook some tasty street food and have a chat, mostly about Favreau’s many directorial credits.

The Chef Show is great to have on in the background or as lazy Sunday afternoon TV and, if you want to spice things up a bit, you can make a drinking game out of how many times Favreau mentions the movie Swingers.

30 Rock

30 Rock

(Image credit: NBC)

Where to stream it: Hulu (US), Sky/Now TV (UK)

A workplace comedy about the behind-the-scenes of an SNL-style sketch comedy show, 30 Rock's premise is a vehicle for razor-sharp one-liners. During its years on the air, 2006-2013, it featured the best joke writing on TV. Its ensemble cast, headed up by creator Tina Fey as head writer Liz Lemon and Alex Baldwin as network executive Jack Donaghy, is fantastic. The humor veers between being extremely silly and oddly sophisticated, which means it's entertaining to a variety of audiences. 

Like all NBC sitcoms of its day, it's perfect to half-watch episodes of 30 Rock in the background while you're using your phone. The show is absolutely hosed down with fun guest stars, especially in later years. Everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Jon Bon Jovi to Matt Damon turns up in this series. If you've enjoyed The Office and Parks and Rec in the past, this show has a slightly nastier edge, but it's in the same ballpark of high-end post-laughter track sitcoms that emerged in the mid-late '00s. 

The Detectorists

(Image credit: BBC)

Where to stream it: Netflix (UK), Acorn TV/Amazon Prime (US)

Detectorists is a well-liked British series that explores the friendship and rivalries between metal detector enthusiasts. The show focuses on two friends (Andy and Lance, played by Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones) who spend a lot of time having conversations about the minutiae of their lives. The beauty of this small talk is not just the affection between the characters, but the way it makes you appreciate the details of your own friendships. This is an easy-going show that's perfect if you need 25-minute distractions and a reminder of what winning in life really means.

Parks and Recreation 

The cast of Parks and Recreation

(Image credit: Parks & Recreation / NBC)

Where to stream it: Netflix (US), Amazon Prime (UK)

One of the best sitcoms of the last decade, once you make it past the first season, Parks and Recreation is a joyful, eccentric and heartwarming show with some of the best comedic actors working today in the key roles. It's about the people working in the parks department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, a place filled with local eccentrics. 

There are a full seven seasons for you to enjoy – that’s 125 episodes – and the quality is kept high until the very end. If you need a sitcom to sink your teeth into, you’d struggle to go wrong here. 

Community

(Image credit: NBC)

Where to stream it: Netflix (US and UK), Hulu (US), Amazon Prime (UK)

Community is about a community college study group of various weirdos, who become a solid unit of friends. While it starts in more sober territory with real classes in a ramshackle educational establishment, by season 5 there's an entire episode featuring a class called 'Nicolas Cage: good or bad?' It gets sillier and more ambitious with time. 

That's because after season one, the creators figured out what makes this show work: characters morph in hilarious ways, and the show trades classic sitcom scenarios for large-scale pop culture parodies. There's an entire two-part episode about a war between the denizens of a pillow fort and a rival blanket fort built inside the college, complete with Ken Burns' Vietnam-style talking heads and narration. It's such an easy show to watch, with characters you'll grow to love. 

Community has a non-exclusive streaming situation, which means you can watch it on a variety of services in the US and UK. 

Queer Eye

(Image credit: Netflix)

Where to stream it: Netflix (US and UK)

We’re all in need of some feel-good programming in these troubling times – why not take it with a side-helping of self-help? What could be a truly schmaltzy makeover show is actually one of the most heartwarming reality series in the Netflix catalogue, with the Queer Eye cast of the ‘Fab Five’ (Antoni Porowski, food and wine expert; Tan France, fashion expert; Karamo Brown, culture expert; Bobby Berk, design expert; and Jonathan Van Ness) making it the most charming show on the streaming service. Turning around the lives of lost souls across the States (and in a recent spin-off series, Japan), you’ll get some fashion, interior design and cooking tips, too, just by watching.

Glow

GLOW

(Image credit: Netflix)

Where to stream it: Netflix (US and UK)

Depending on your stance on professional wrestling, you might already consider it something of a comedy. But this Netflix original, based loosely on the 1980s real-world show ‘The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’ is a neon-tinged blast. Think lycra. Think hairspray. Think power-ballads and powerbombs. You’ve got Glow – a wonderfully funny series about the trials and tribulations of an up-and-coming women’s-only pro wrestling TV show.

Brooklyn Nine Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

(Image credit: NBC)

Where to stream it: Hulu (US), Netflix (UK)

There’s nothing better than kicking back with Brooklyn Nine Nine, a high quality cop comedy that does for police work that Scrubs did for medical professions. With well-written stories tied to a loose arc, you'll want nothing more than to see the child-like hero Jake Peralta succeed with gruff-yet-hilarious father-figure-cum-captain Holt. That relationship keep throwing up new wonderful moments as it develops. 

A funny romantic thread and well-made supporting cast members make this a series that you can watch again and again and just enjoy. If someone you know hasn’t seen it, show them a few episodes and watch as they devour seven seasons in no time. 

The Office

(Image credit: Deedle-Dee Productions / Reveille Productions / Universal Television)

Where to stream it: Netflix (US), Amazon Prime Video (UK)

There's never a bad time to rewatch The Office. It's so big a draw for Netflix that the new streaming service Peacock bid $500 million to grab the exclusive US rights to show the classic NBC sitcom. 

It's no wonder, either: The Office is a great watch for any miserable day. Start with 'The Dundies', episode 1 of season 2, and just burn through it from there. You'll be surprised how quickly you end up watching five episodes of this beloved workplace comedy in a single night. 

People Just Do Nothing

Where to stream it: Netflix (US and UK)

A British mockumentary following a group of unlikely lads running pirate radio station Kurupt FM in west London. Focused around UK garage and drum and bass, if you grew up in Britain during the late 90s and early 00s, it’s likely People Just Do Nothing will feature some familiar personalities of your youth. You can watch it on Netflix in both the US and UK.