21 Lighthearted Shows to Watch While You Await the Results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

You're not alone: the 2020 election is one of the most stressful in modern history. From Gossip Girl to Schitt's Creek, here are some of the most lighthearted TV shows to watch now.

By Lauren Piester, Jonathan Borge Nov 04, 2020 9:50 PMTags
Watch: "Gossip Girl" & "Revenge" Plan Latinx Reboots--Is This a Trend?

Too close to call!

It's a phrase we expect to hear a little longer as the outcome of the 2020 election remains tight. Yes, we so far have seen historic wins in Congress and the Senate that'll change the direction of American leadership for years to come. But when it comes to the giant elephant in the room—who is President?—well, we're still sweating. 

To combat that stress, why not (briefly) switch off the news to instead enjoy beloved series that feel like a warm hug? We've gathered 21 lighthearted and super comforting TV shows that'll help you get your mind off all that's going on.

Yes, we suggest revisiting classics like Gossip Girl, Sex and the City or Moesha. But we also recommend taking the time to explore some of this year's buzziest new shows. Because if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that the titular character at the center of Emily in Paris is one of the most polarizing in Netflix history. 

The Best Comfort TV Comedies

Other shows that undoubtedly deserve a showout include New Girl, Schitt's Creek, The Great British Bake Off and RuPaul's Drag Race. And while Mariah Carey began celebrating Christmas the second Halloween ended, you just might not be ready to enjoy the impressive lineup of holiday content coming in the new few weeks. For that, we're here to help fill the void.

Grab a blanket, carve out some me-time and stop reading Aunt Jane's wild Facebook updates. Scroll down for 21 easy-to-binge TV shows we can't stop loving.  

New Girl

With roommates like these, you won't even miss being able to leave your house. Nick, Jess, Winston, Schmidt, Cece and sometimes Coach will soothe your soul with drinking games, endless flirtations, some very solid character growth and one catchy musical about a gay wolf.

The Great British Bake Off

There is perhaps nothing more calming in the world than watching a bunch of sweet British people panicking over soggy bottoms and burnt biscuits. The music, the accents, the delectable-looking baked goods, the humble yet determined attitudes—all ingredients for a perfectly soothing afternoon binge.

Schitt's Creek

There is no word that doesn't bring us joy when Moira Rose pronounces it. No word! Things went real south when the Rose family lost their home and their belongings and were only left with that small town they bought that one time as a joke, but boy did those Roses bloom. Whether you've never watched or you've seen it a thousand times, we love this journey for you.


Come for Julissa Calderon's million dollar smile, stay for touching storylines that so accurately depict what it's like to be Latinx in America. The Netflix dramedy, officially renewed for season two, follows three Mexican-American cousins who struggle to keep their family taco shop alive in Boyle Heights, an L.A. neighborhood experiencing gentrification. The hilarious Spanglish punchlines and sweet LGBTQ+ love story make it special. Oh, and good luck watching while hungry: this is taco porn at its finest. 

The Great Pottery Throw Down

If you thought The Great British Bake Off was calming, you gotta try pots. The Great Pottery Throw Down is like Bake Off but with clay. It's mesmerizing, satisfying and occasionally hilariously dirty. Instead of a Paul Hollywood handshake, the potters are hoping to make head judge Keith Brymer Jones tear up with joy at the weight of their vase or the unintended pattern on their Raku-fired figurines. It's adorable. (And if you don't yet know what Raku is, prepare to be obsessed.) 

Sex and the City

Not everyone has decided whether they're a Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) or Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). Gasp! Sex and the City first premiered in 1998 and aired its series finale in 2004, which means an entire generation of viewers may not have experienced the magic of watching four New Yorkers search for love again and again and again. If that's you, prepare for a rollercoaster ride of emotions. And if you know Carrie's best quotes like the back of your hand, why not give it another go?


Absolutely nothing makes us giggle like watching comedians embarrass themselves on Taskmaster, the British comedy show that tasks the stars with things like "make this coconut look like a businessman" and "order a pizza without saying pizza.'" It's absolutely absurd and a really great way to spend an afternoon or three. You can catch up on Youtube!

Gilmore Girls

Do you currently have the mental capacity to fully comprehend Rory and Lorelai's mile-a-minute mother/daughter banter? No. Will it still be pleasant to listen to? Absolutely. Pour a cup of coffee (or like seven) and settle in for seven and a quarter seasons of wonderfully distracting small town shenanigans.

RuPaul's Drag Race

This Emmy-winning show has moved mountains in terms of accelerating acceptance of LGBTQ+ communities. The best part? It's an instant mood-booster. Season after season, legendary drag queen RuPaul welcomes drag contestants hoping to become America's Next Drag Superstar. With outrageous comedic skits, jaw-dropping fashion moments and A-list celebrity cameos, it's everything we look for in a delightful binge. And if you zip through all 12 seasons of the franchise, watch the international spinoffs based out of Canada, Holland, Chile, Thailand and the U.K. 


Gossip Girl

Blake Lively. Leighton Meester. Penn Badgley. Ed Westwick. Chace Crawford. Kristen Bell. Must we go on? The drama, which ran for six seasons between 2007 to 2012, is so beloved we're now getting a reboot. And in case you need a refresher: this is basically a show about a bunch of horny and petty rich kids living in New York. It's fun. It's campy. It'll make you question why oversize belts were ever so popular. Warning: Do not Google, "Who is Gossip Girl?" Xoxo. 


Mo to the! E to the!

It's hard not to sing along to the theme song to this classic ‘90s sitcom starring Brandy. We recommend watching it because it'll simply make you feel good. Thanks to its arrival on Netflix this fall, it's experienced a mini resurgence. And if you're wondering what the cast is up to now, we've got you covered.


If you can't help but get up and dance to Madonna's "Vogue" each time it comes on, you're in for a treat. Pose tells the story of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s ballroom scene in Harlem, where LGBTQ+ people gathered to participate in dance competitions and congregate with their chosen families. Co-created by Ryan Murphy, the Emmy-winning show is known for having the biggest cast of LGBTQ+ actors in a scripted series. And in addition to red carpet favorite Billy Porter, key stars include trans women such as Indya Moore, MJ Rodriguez, Angelica Ross, Dominique Jackson and Hailie Sahar. 


Speaking of "Vogue," HBO's reality dance competition series Legendary explores the world of voguing, a style of dance that originated in the ballroom scene. Week after week, stunning groups work hard to claim the $100,000 cash prize. The judges include Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado and Megan Thee Stallion. Not only is it incredibly fun to watch, but it'll offer a crash course in the history behind one of the most popularized forms of dance today.  

Selling Sunset

Watch this if you consider a day revisiting The Hills, Laguna Beach and The City one well spent. With three seasons on tap, the series follows bombshell female real estate agents who compete to sell million-dollar listings (it's better than Million Dollar Listings) throughout Los Angeles. Whether you'll be on Chrishell or Christine's team is completely dependent on your personality. But one thing's for sure: Davina has got to go.


The Mandalorian

Two words: Baby. Yoda. Disney+'s big Star Wars series is occasionally dark and a little violent, but nothing breaks through that darkness like the Child, a 50-year-old toddler who will coo his way into your heart and convince you to lay down your life for him with nothing more than a sip of soup. Baby Yoda for President.

What We Do in the Shadows

OK yes, people occasionally get murdered on this show, but what do you expect from a bunch of vampires living on Staten Island? Do you want them to just starve?! Tune in to see if Nandor will ever turn his long-suffering familiar Guillermo into a vampire, stay for the expert disguise tips from regular human bartender Jackie Daytona. Your life will never be the same.



Did you grow up having fun with AIM screen names and obsessing over the Spice Girls? Then this one's for you. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle revisit the early aughts as 13-year-old's gearing up to enter seventh grade, the best year ever. What's cringey and hilarious about the show is that the two leads, both in their 30s, act alongside real teenagers. It's awkward, definitely weird and will make you wish we were back in the year 2000.



This pick will have you spitting out your wine. With an A+ soundtrack and a very attractive cast (hello, Jay Ellis), the HBO smash follows Issa Rae's Issa as she and her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) navigate the realities of life for millennial Black women today. Highlights include all the times Issa raps for herself in the mirror, plus any and every joke delivered by Natasha Rothwell's Kelli. 


Emily in Paris

Is this buzzy new show actually good? We here at E! News were very divided, but one thing's for sure: this is the fastest way to escape while staying on the couch. Lily Collins stars as a 20-something-year-old social media marketer with a near-perfect life and a very expensive designer wardrobe to covet. You'll fall in love with French heartthrob Lucas Bravo. And did we mention Paris? What we'd give for a trip to the City of Lights right now.

Broad City

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are comedic gold. Just like Insecure and PEN15, Broad City follows an instantly-likeable duo that share incredibly relatable and universal experiences you can't help but laugh at. And unlike fantastical hits like Sex and the City or Emily in Paris, the show takes place in a far more realistic New York City (a.k.a. not very glamorous) with heroines who aren't always winning. 


The Real Housewives of Potomac

Any iteration of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise is deserving of your time. But five seasons in, the women of Potomac have managed to find unbelievably funny ways to top themselves each time. This binge will get you hooked immediately. And we can confirm that racing to catch up and see the season five brawl between Monique Samuels and Candiace Dillard Bassett is absolutely worth it.


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