13 Nice Shows (and 3 Not So Nice Ones) That Don’t Have Any Surprise Misery

For the past few years, gritty has become the name of the TV show game. Shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Killing Eve have been praised for their envelope-pushing, while genre shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have taken graphic violence mainstream.

Though network sitcoms may not sport the same head-bashing, oversexed content of their cable drama peers, they have always been fans of the “very special episode,” which means you’re going along fine, having a laugh each week, and then suddenly Randy on Home Improvement might have cancer.

While there’s nothing wrong with sex, violence, or attempts at tackling serious topics through humor – they all have their places – when the world gets rough (and for the past few years it’s only gotten rougher), sometimes you just want to watch a show and know it’s not going to take a serious or shocking turn into misery.

So, we’ve compiled a list of shows that are nice. Yes, nice. Kindly, uncomplicated, innocuous shows guaranteed not to twist your brain or heart up in knots. There are a few kids shows on here, but most of these shows are made for adults. Just minus the “TV-MA” stuff.

Nice Shows You Can Stream Now

Bob’s Burgers

What it’s about: A quirky family works together in their burger restaurant.

Why it qualifies: It’s funny. Damn funny. The characters are fantastic, and the show’s got a ton of heart. The parents love their kids, the kids love their parents and each other. Even if they pretend not to half the time.

There are moments of inappropriate humor, but it’s never mean-spirited. Everyone’s included and surprises abound.

Watch for: The overall family dynamic and the out-of-left-field things that come out of Gene’s mouth.

Where to Stream It: Hulu (all 10 seasons)

The Great British Baking Show

What it’s about: Bakers compete in weekly challenges to try to prove they are the greatest amateur baker.

Why it qualifies: It’s baking. And it’s heartfelt.

The bakers do some crying – hey, baking on the telly is stressful! – and experience many disappointments. It can be hard to watch them get booted from the show once you get attached.

Mostly, though, this show is smiles and hugs and a lot of tasty-looking treats you wish you could taste through your TV.

Watch for: The way they help each other out even though they’re competing.

Where to Stream It: Netflix

Father Brown

What it’s about: A priest is also an amateur sleuth.

Why it qualifies: This is the very definition of a cozy mystery. Small English town. Charming, lovable residents. A ridiculous number of murders per capita.

Sometimes the religion can get a little heavy-handed – Father Brown is super worried about everyone’s mortal soul – but it’s a peaceful watch with lovely characters.

Watch for: Lady Felicia’s screams and Mrs. McCarthy’s strawberry scones.

Where to Stream It: Netflix

Raven’s Home

What it’s about: In this continuation of That’s So Raven, Raven and her son both have psychic visions and their interpretations of them are always way off-base.

Why it qualifies: This is a kids’ show good and proper, emphasis on the kids, so it’s written to be painless.

But Raven is also an underrated comedic actress. Her moments of comedy are pure gold.

Watch for: Raven getting riled up by her kids and letting them know they’re ‘bout to get it, and the nostalgia of Raven and Chelsea being best friends after all these years.

Where to Stream It: DisneyNOW

The IT Crowd

What it’s about: Two IT techs and their clueless supervisor ask if colleagues have tried turning it off and back on again.

Why it qualifies: This show is flat-out, unapologetically absurd in the best kind of way. The comedy can sometimes get raunchy (read: offensive to some), but it’s rarely mean. Well… not too mean.

Watch for: So many gif-able moments.

Where to Stream It: Netflix

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

What it’s about: A unit of misfit police detectives solve crimes and hold ludicrous competitions in their workplace.

Why it qualifies: This is a sitcom that aims to be funny. It’s had a few rare missteps, delving into heartfelt territory that would be best left alone. For the most part, though, you won’t find any unexpected feels here, just a lot of really ridiculous shenanigans.

Watch for: Charles’ unintentionally oversexualized choices of words and the perfection that is Andre Braugher’s Raymond Holt.

Where to Stream It: Netflix

ZOMBOAT!

What it’s about: The zombie apocalypse has descended on Birmingham, UK. Two sisters and two randoms dudes they come across try to escape it by slow boat along a canal.

Why it qualifies: Love your zombie shows, but tired of feeling like you’re watching torture porn whenever you try to watch one? ZOMBOAT! is the zombie show for you.

Like Shaun of the Dead, ZOMBOAT! does zombies as comedy. Only fewer main characters die. At least in the first season.

Watch for: The banter. It is fast and it is furious.

Where to Stream It: Hulu

Fresh Off the Boat

What it’s about: First-generation immigrants and their three sons make a life in Orlando in the 1990s.

Why it qualifies: This show is funny. The characters are endearingly unique, and there’s a lot of talent in the cast. Not just the primary cast, but the secondary cast too.

Every so often, it tugs the heart strings and you might get a little hint of a sniffle, but you won’t use up your entire tissue supply.

Watch for: Grandma Huang and Eddie’s soundtracked entrances.

Where to Stream It: Hulu

Even Stevens

What it’s about: Brother and sister Louis and Ren Stevens try to get along. They fail a lot, but they get it right on occasion too.

Why it qualifies: Love him or hate him as a leading man, Shia LaBeouf proved his comedic acting chops in this star turn.

The writing is excellent. It’s a kids’ show, but there is plenty here for adults to like, and the best episodes are truly stellar.

If you like LaBeouf (or wonder if there is anything about LaBeouf to like), it’s well worth a watch.

Watch for: The times Ren and Louis do right by each other and the exquisite comedic delivery. These kids were talented.

Where to Stream It: Disney+ (in the U.S.)

Molang/Sunny Bunnies/Tsum Tsum/Big Block Sing Songs

What it’s about: Disney has a bunch of short (2 to 4 minutes), highly palatable shows right now that are designed for maximum happy feels. And also for 3 to 5-year-olds.

Why they qualify: Molang is the kindest, gentlest show on television.

Sunny Bunnies and Tsum Tsum are both absolutely magical.

Big Block Sing Songs is as silly as it gets. Think Veggie Tales-style songs in a series of humorous shorts.

Watch for: Good feels and all the magic.

Where to Stream It: DisneyNow (Molang is also on Hulu and Netflix)

Not So Nice Shows

A show doesn’t necessarily have to be “nice” to be free from suffering.

These next shows are a little meaner, but don’t have loads of graphic violence, don’t rely on the same old tropes of sex and violence to push the envelope, and definitely won’t make you cry.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

What it’s about: Five absolutely horrendous people own a bar in Philadelphia.

Why it qualifies: These people are awful. The things they do are ridiculous. But the show knows these are awful, ridiculous people. No one tries to make them into heroes.

It’s super funny in a bizarre, specific way that stood out from the crowd when it premiered many seasons ago and that many shows have tried to copy (not as well) in the years since.

Watch for: The talent. A couple of members of the once largely unknown cast took off to the stratosphere during the show’s run. And the other ones aren’t doing so bad either. Even the secondary cast has spawned multiple now-familiar faces.

Where to Stream It: Hulu

Veep

What it’s about: The Vice President of the United States hates her job and wants to be president.

Why it qualifies: Kind of like It’s Always Sunny, most of the characters on this show are completely atrocious. But they’re meant to be. It’s a satire and they’re caricatures. Also, politics.

The comedy here is mean, like really mean. Sometimes, almost too mean. But it’s wickedly funny if you’re in the mood.

Watch for: The ad-libs. There are a lot of them, you usually know them when they come by, and they are FUNNY. Mean, but funny.

Where to Stream It: HBO Now

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

What it’s about: A shake, French fries, and a wad of meat live and get into shenanigans together.

Why it qualifies: A shake, French fries, and a wad of meat live and get into shenanigans together. Does it get more absurd?

Also, there’s a recurring subplot with trouble-making aliens called the Mooninites who smoke while they flip the bird.

Watch for: The innocence of Meatwad and the bad influence of the Mooninites.

Where to Stream It: Adult Swim (in the U.S.)

Happy nice watching!

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