Even if you’re not normally a big TV watcher, chances are you’re streaming a few shows right now, or maybe more than a few. And why not? Television relaxes us and takes our imagination to another world, something we can definitely use these days.
If you’re looking for something new to help you unwind, consider checking out something not so new. In addition to original content, cutting edge series and Oscar-worthy movies, today’s streaming services also offer entire seasons of classic television shows that are as timeless as they are fun. From the antics of I love Lucy to the edgy humor of The Golden Girls, these network favorites can still bring a smile and are a refreshing alternative to modern shows.
Check out these feel-good oldies but goodies for your binging pleasure:
This 1982 comedy series ran for 11 seasons, starring Ted Danson and Shelley Long. Danson plays Sam Malone, a former baseball pitcher who owns Boston bar “Cheers.” Long plays a socialite who is forced to become a server in the bar when she falls on hard times. The 30-minute sitcom had a rotating cast of hilarious characters, and won a total of 28 Emmys. It is available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and CBS All Access.
A spin-off from the “Cheers” series, Frasier was a sitcom that ran from 1993 – 2004. Starring Kelsey Grammar as psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane, a Cheers regular who moves from Boston to Seattle to start a new life, the show developed a loyal following and launched Grammar into stardom. Grammar was awarded four Emmys and two Golden Globes for his role, and the show itself won a total of 37 Emmys. You can catch Frasier on Amazon, CBS All Access and Hulu.
The Andy Griffith Show
Taking us all back to a much simpler era, The Andy Griffith Show, starring Andy Griffith as a widowed sheriff raising his young son alone, ran from 1960 – 1968. The show takes place in the town of Mayberry, where criminal foibles are usually mild and easily resolved. If you watch, you might think Griffith’s young son, Opie, looks familiar, and you’re right. The character of Opie was played by none other than well-known actor/director Ron Howard. Stream the entire series on Netflix or Amazon.
I Love Lucy
One of comedy’s most iconic actresses, Lucille Ball shines as lovable, hilarious Lucy in this enduring series. The show ran from 1951 – 1957, with Ball and her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, showcasing their comedic chops as they portray a couple in New York city, living the showbiz life. While episodes can be found on cable channels such as Nickelodeon, you can stream all six seasons on Hulu, CBS All Access or Amazon.
The Golden Girls
Running from 1985 – 1992, The Golden Girls takes us on a comical ride into the lives of four older women sharing a home in Miami. Starring Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show received critical acclaim and garnered multiple Emmys and Golden Globes. All seven seasons are available on both Hulu and Amazon.
Family Ties is a sitcom about a couple of free-spirited 70’s hippies who marry and settle into suburbia with their three kids. As they try to navigate parenting, the PTA, and a son who is a card-carrying member of the young republicans, there are plenty of laughs and not a few tears in this funny and heartwarming series. The show ran from 1982 – 1989, starring Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman, Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter. It can be seen on Amazon or CBS All Access.
Jody Ellis is a freelance writer who specializes in beauty, health, travel, fashion and style. Her work has appeared in publications such as LennyLetter, Huffington Post, BBC Future Planet, Civil Eats and Eater.