TV Shows, Pop Culture

8 TV shows to watch when you need to escape your family during the holidays

Holidays are fun. Forced time with your extended family? Uh, not so much.

Fellow human beings, we at The Tempest know that the holidays can be merry and bright, but they can also be a major pain in the ass. I love you, Aunt Karen, but if you ask me what I am doing with my life one more time I will pull my hair out. To save you readers from your versions of Aunt Karens, we have compiled a list of all the shows available from streaming to help you escape your family for a few minutes (or an hour…or for the whole holiday season). You do you.

1. American Vandal


What’s better for escaping your family than to become engrossed in a mockumentary about a student who drew dicks on cars at a California high school?

2. Gilmore Girls

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When I just want to escape, Stars Hollow never fails to grant me comfort. The small town with its too-many celebrations, incredible amounts of coffee,and witty conversations feels like home to me. I know this show is extremely problematic but it reminds me of my teenage days where all I wanted was to be Rory and have my very own Jess. Because he was undoubtedly the best of her love interests and I will fight you on this.

3. Downton Abbey

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Even though it’s a period drama about the lives of a rich upper-class English family,  it’s also escapism at its finest. There are so many things about the series that are captivating. From the fancy tea parties to the costumes to dealing with life’s disappointments (aka Edith’s whole life). It also managed to stay oddly relatable. Family drama and most families have a grandmother who is never afraid to speak her mind. The seasons are short but the episodes are long and so binge-worthy. I’m saving the final season for when everything in the world is falling apart, so…a binge-session might be real soon.

4. Friends

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It’s super cliche to like this show but it such an easy watch. Just watch any episode from any season – and you’re set for the next few hours. I could watch it over and over again. I love all the characters. Ross goes from an insecure little poop to being a three-time divorced insecure little poop. Phoebe goes from being flakey and aloof to staying true to herself and marrying a guy who loves all her weirdness. Monica going from pining for a husband and kids to marrying her best friend and adopting babies to fulfill her dream. Chandler goes from being a guy who’s cannot commit to one girl to having a long-term relationship and marrying his best friend. Rachel goes from being a spoilt brat to being an independently successful fashionista and a mother. And Joey…stays Joey. I could watch this show tons of times from beginning to the end.

5. This Is Us

Over It Nbc GIF by This Is Us

This is the perfect show to curl up with your family and watch on a snowy winter Saturday. It’s got everything from drama, romance, and mystery to keep you hooked. The show follows the everyday lives of three siblings who find it hard to cope with their father’s untimely death. It teaches us how normal it is to mourn the loss of a loved one even after 10 years of their passing. The show also addresses important issues like diversity, sexuality and obesity. Be prepared with tissues before you launch into a binge, as this is quite the tear-jerker!

6. The O.C. 


Ryan Atwood leaves his abusive household in Chino and moves in with pro-bono lawyer (and super dad extraordinaire) Sandy Cohen and his family in Newport Beach, California. This show is kind of like a modern-day fairy-tale and the pilot episode alone is pure gold. I’ve watched this series a million times, let’s be honest, I’ll probably watch it a million more times in the near future.

7. Happy Endings 


Whenever someone mentions this show, alarm bells go off and the words “CANCELLED TOO SOON” blares across the loudspeaker in my head. And while that sounds a bit dramatic, I stand by the sentiment. Happy Endings started as a show about a group of friends who must deal with awkward that comes as a result of one them (Alex) leaving another (Dave) at the altar. What it becomes it SO. MUCH. MORE. The comedic timing is period. The jokes are witty and understated. And the banter is everything I didn’t know I needed in a show…Basically, this show is the best and you should already be watching it.

8. Veronica Mars


This was one of the first shows I can remember getting really obsessed with. Unlike a lot of people, I actually watched it when it was still on the air. I remember coming home from school and racing through my homework so I wouldn’t have to miss an episode. Veronica Mars was a bad ass who took no shit (even in the first season when her entire high school and entire town hated her). As an awkward and shy high schooler, I totally envied that quality and I think that’s why I latched on so strongly. An entire decade later and this show still holds up. If you like a high school drama mixed with a heavy dose of mystery and small-town secrets, then this show is for you.

And with that, there you have it! 8 options for when you want to pull your hair out or drown your grumpiness in a bottle of wine. We believe in you. You will get through the holidays.