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Jan 15 2018
by Shelby Lenhart

College Students Share The 8 Shows They Watch to De-Stress

By Shelby Lenhart - Jan 15 2018

For many of us, nothing feels better after a long class than to lay down in bed and put on our tried-and-true favorite show. It's important to have a channel or series that you can rely on to help you unwind in the midst of tests, homework, essays and the general weight of college. Need help picking a new series? Here are the top picks of several college students!

1. The Office

This comedy series ran from 2005 to 2013, and since its end has amassed a large following due to its availability on Netflix. The show is a mockumentary featuring the everyday goings-on of a medium-sized paper company called "Dunder Mifflin." The central characters include regional manager Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, Dwight Schrute, played by Rainn Wilson, Jim Halpert, played by John Krasinski and Pam, played by Jenna Fischer. 

So why do students love "The Office?" Several students agree that this is one of their favorite shows to relax to. One student, Kuran, says, "the show never fails to make me laugh, so it's always a go-to for me if I'm upset or have had a long day." 

Another student, Carol, says "it's not overstimulating. It's just a really chill, good comedy show." 

"It's something that has a solid plot line, but it's also not so serious that it's upsetting. It's something you can pick up whenever and you know what's going on. It's not too heavy, but it has a nice structure," adds Lauren. 

2. Friends

Who doesn't know the iconic theme song from "Friends" with the four claps? "Friends" was a sit-com staple that ran from 1994 to 2004 and focuses on the lives of six twenty-somethings and their experiences with life, love and debacles that can only come from a situational comedy. Jennifer Aniston plays Rachel Greene, David Schwimmer plays Ross Geller, Courteney Cox plays Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc plays Joey Tribbiani, Matthew Perry plays Chandler Bing and Lisa Kudrow plays Phoebe Buffay. 

The show has recently had some negative backlash for making jokes that do not come across well, but many students still love it and disagree with the criticism. 

One freshman, Katy, says, "it's just really funny. And I really relate to Rachel." 

3. Fresh Off the Boat

This unique series on ABC is featured on Hulu and depicts the lives of an Asian-American family based on Eddie Huang's memoir. The premise of the show is about a family that moves from Chinatown in Washington, D.C. to the suburbs of Orlando, and how their lives are different. It's a show about the prevalence of culture and the experience of the children growing up in different environments. The show began in 2015 and has been recently renewed for another season. 

Michelle says, "it's lighthearted and chill. I can just sit and enjoy the content." 

4. Parks and Rec

Anyone who has scrolled through relatable Twitter posts has probably seen the sassy, cynical character of April Ludgate, one of the main characters in the comedy series "Parks and Rec." It's a Netflix favorite, and is similar to "The Office" in its mockumentary-style storytelling. It depicts the life of Leslie Knope and the Parks and Recreation department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Amy Poehler plays the lead of Leslie Knope, Nick Offerman plays Ron Swanson, Chris Pratt plays Andy Dwyer and Aziz Ansari plays Tom Haverford. 

Chloe, a college freshman, says, "I love the show because it has a great story but isn't too dark and stressful like a lot of the other shows I like to watch. It makes me laugh no matter how many times I've seen the episode."

5. Black Mirror 

"Black Mirror" is a show that has recently risen in popularity. It's a technology-based re-imagining of the classic black-and-white sci-fi series "The Twilight Zone." It follows in the predecessor series as each episode is unique from the other and features different characters and scenarios. "Black Mirror" plays on the idea of a futuristic society plagued by fears of growth of technology. 

This show also happens to be another one of Katy's top "de-stress" shows. Why? "It's really intense and distracts me from my own issues," she says.  Even shows that have darker themes can be perfect shows to relax to. 

6. Brooklyn 99 

"Brooklyn 99" is Fox's comedy series about the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn that first aired in 2013. Andy Samberg is featured as the lead of the series who works alongside popular acting industry-members like Terry Crews, Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz and Chelsea Peretti. 

Melanie cites the show as one of her favorite "de-stress" shows. "It's lighthearted and funny, and the characters are cool and cohesive. It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling."

7. Food Network (Channel) 

There are a plethora of shows on the Food Network that we often find ourselves watching out of boredom or sheer curiosity about how to make the "perfect porkchop." Shows like "Chopped," "Cutthroat Kitchen," "Pioneer Woman," "Cupcake Wars" and "Food Network Star" are staples of the channel, and can actually be incredibly soothing to watch. 

College student Jason explains why Food Network is his go-to. "It shows the completion and formula to make food. I like it, it gives me ideas of food I can make for people I love."

8. Good Mythical Morning (YouTube Channel) 

"Good Mythical Morning" is a YouTube staple featuring two friends named Rhett and Link. Their YouTube talk-show style series is centered around them testing out internet fads and challenges, trying to make things into tacos and having other YouTube celebrities as guest stars. Their channel has been incredibly popular since the inception of the series back in 2012 as they established themselves as a true YouTube comedy duo. 

Chingching, another college freshman, swears by their videos as her personal go-to show to decompress. "They're funny and ridiculous," she says, "and sometimes life bogs you down and you need a good talk show starring lifelong friends doing crazy things to show you not to take life too seriously." 

With all the pressure of grades, friends and assignments, it's nice to know that there is a series that time and time again will make you laugh, cry and forget the stress of everything getting you down. These college students shared their top pick, and maybe your next go-to is somewhere on this list!

Lead image credit: Jens Kreuter via Unsplash

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Shelby Lenhart - Marymount Manhattan College

Shelby is a freshman at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. She is getting her BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Playwriting.

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