- Modern Family: At first, all I knew about Modern Family was that it was winning ALL the awards at every awards show I watched for a WHILE. Having never seen it and only knowing that it was stealing all the honors away from other better shows my favorite shows, I just thought things like “Surely it’s not that good” and “It’s a fad.” I have this dumb habit of being adamantly against pop culture things that everyone else loves for no good reason (example: The Hunger Games books. Most fiction bestsellers. Twilight, when that was a thing. Jennifer Lawrence, but I insist I dislike her for good reason). But then I watched a few episodes of Modern Family this summer on a rainy Fourth of July and let me tell you, I would award that show, too.It has such a good heart. Good family values, which I’m all about. Plus it’s hysterical. I root for every character because I think it’s one of those shows where you can find yourself in some facet of each one.
- Barefoot Contessa: Ina Garten is my favorite chef on the Food Network by far. Partly I think this is because she looks like my favorite poetry professor, but the whole aesthetic of her show is just so lovely and comforting. I love clean, white & blue kitchens, packing a picnic for a windy night on the beach, the way Ina’s husband shows up in many of the episodes, and the idea of always having all the ingredients you need on hand. Even though some of her recipes call for ingredients that I wouldn’t even know where to look to find them, there are enough that seem accessible to keep me watching. Ina is someone I would be completely starstruck to meet—but then again, I think, if we met, we’d just pour some coffee (over ice cream) and then walk around East Hampton or something. And it would be just delightful. (I also found out recently that she is on Pinterest. WHAT.)
- Gilmore Girls: Here’s another one I adamantly for-no-good-reason didn’t watch. I was like, “That mother-daughter relationship is weird.” And then I watched it. It’s one of the smartest shows I’ve yet seen. The pop culture references are on point (many of my own options for pop culture references stem from things I learned from Gilmore Girls). That said, it’s hilarious. My sister and I have watched this show so much that its jokes and turns of phrase are basically just how we talk. Gilmore Girls has a good heart, too. It’s about love and time and friendship, how we grow up and make mistakes and watch things fall back into place.
- Girl Code: This is perhaps the most ridiculous show on the list, but it totally cracks me up. Each episode of Girl Code focuses on a few topics and the cast talks about them. Some are a little raunchy, but mostly I just love the ones that fall in the category of things-everyone-knows-but-doesn’t-say (so when someone does say it, you’re like YES!). Example topics: dieting, sports, sororities, Moms, holidays, etc. My all-time favorite comment was in the dieting part of one episode:
- The Mindy Project: Multiple friends had been telling me that I would love the Mindy Project for some time, and finally I watched it at the beginning of the summer. Oh my goodness, I was hooked from the first episode where Mindy talks about Nora Ephron movies and I was like, “Girl, are we the same? Yes.” I think Mindy Kaling is pretty great, and I like how the fact that Mindy is an intelligent, successful woman is not downplayed in the show. I’m totally rooting for a Mindy-Danny romance, especially after that adorable airplane-turbulence-hand-holding moment. Well-played, Mindy Kaling. You know those moments are the meet-cutes we’re all dreaming of. And the cast is great, too—I particularly love Ike Barinholtz and Zoe Jarman. Zoe is my professor’s daughter, so a side mission of this semester is to be invited to a Jarman holiday party/event so that I can meet her.
Mostly I just watched a lot of TV this summer, and there are shows I love so much that