It’s become a tradition here at Standing in Front of a TV for me to write about what I’m thankful for each Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for this year: family, friends, health, etc. However, 2016 wasn’t the best of years otherwise, making me more grateful than ever for the escape that television provides. Here are eight TV-related things I’m thankful for this Turkey Day:
- Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I’m sure this is on a lot of people’s lists given that it premieres this weekend, but I’m beyond excited to revisit this cozy blanket of a show. The revival also gave me an excuse to rewatch the series again, and falling back in love with Stars Hollow was just the distraction I needed this fall.
- A strong crop of new shows. A lot of my shows got canceled or held for midseason this year, leaving me with some holes in my fall TV schedule. Luckily, this was one of the best seasons in recent memory for new shows, and I’ve happily added new favorites like This Is Us, Pitch, and The Good Place.
- The CW. Last year, I mentioned superhero shows specifically, but this year I’m grateful for the network in general. Yes, their DC lineup remains strong (especially with the addition of Supergirl), but they also have other wonderfully unique shows I love, such as Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
- The West Wing. Regardless of your political affiliations, I think we can all agree that this was a tumultuous year, making President Bartlet and Co.’s idealism both reassuring and refreshing. This was my first time watching the show all the way through, and I’m definitely glad that I picked this year to do so.
- Divisive female characters. I love characters who aren’t traditionally likable–especially female characters because women have only recently been given those parts. Right now, I’m thankful for characters like Petra Solano, Cat Grant, and the returning Paris Geller for reminding people that women are complex individuals who need not smile.
- Samantha Bee, John Oliver, and Seth Meyers. Not to make this list all about politics, but these three were life savers this year, providing just the right blend of outrage, humor, and optimism during the election season. It was also great to see a woman break into the late-night boys’ club in such spectacular fashion, offering a long overdue female perspective on social issues.
- ‘Shipping. Yes, discussing ‘shipping on the internet can get nasty pretty quickly, but watching couples like Emma and Hook, Amy and Jake, and Jane and Michael (all of whom are particularly happy and adorable this season) brought me a lot of joy this year. When your love life gets you down, it’s nice to disappear into someone else’s for awhile.
- Once Upon a Time. This show’s brand of optimism is exactly what the world needs right now, and watching it is the perfect way to head into a new week. It’s also chock-full of wonderful female friendships and has some of the most believable and swoon worthy romantic relationships on television, despite the show’s fantasy elements.
What are you thankful for in the world of TV? Let me know in the comments, and have a great Thanksgiving!