Upbeat shows to watch on Prime video
May 21, 2018 8:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for TV shows and movies available on Amazon Prime video that will not give me nightmares.

I want shows to watch that are non-triggering, meaning minimal violence and no sexual violence, no intense misogyny, racism, homo- or transphobia, or other bigotry, no blood or gore, no harm to children, no cruelty to animals, and not intensely depressing. Basically I like shows for someone who has trouble separating fiction from reality.

I'm also not interested in shows that are mainly about men, particularly if the focus is women rescuing pathological men.

Ideal shows/movies are free to watch with Amazon Prime, but I can pay for something particularly good.

Recent successes:
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - hilarious
The Good Wife - has some violence but it's pretty fake
Lark Rise to Candleford - sweet
Catastrophe - super funny

Recent nos:
House of Lies - noped out after the misogyny and transphobia in the first few episodes
One Mississippi - can't handle the death and cancer
The Americans - too violent
posted by medusa to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Good Place.
posted by jadepearl at 8:21 AM on May 21, 2018 [22 favorites]

Best answer: It looks like Parks and Rec is free with Prime and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is not, but both are wonderful.
posted by bananacabana at 8:27 AM on May 21, 2018 [11 favorites]

Best answer: Came here to say Brooklyn Nine-nine, but bananacabana is right, it's not on Prime. However, Blackadder is! And it's hysterical. All violence played for laughs.
posted by ubiquity at 8:32 AM on May 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: British tv, usually far less violence/ sensationalism. Silk was good, Grantchester. Crimson Field has gore; it's a WWI combat hospital. I loved Friday Night Lights. Endeavour is excellent and violence is minimal. Prime Suspect: Tenisson. Battleship Galactica. The Newsroom is dated, and Aaron Sorkin's writing gets way over the top in it, but I still liked it a lot.
posted by theora55 at 8:33 AM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: If you like docu-series - "I'll Have What Phil's Having". It's like following around Anthony Bourdain on the good happy pills.
posted by deezil at 8:40 AM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Parks and Recreation is streaming on Prime, already mentioned above. Veep might work too. In terms of actual older shows, original Roseanne is streaming and though it does touch on some of the themes you mention above, everything is neatly tied up in a comedic bow at the end of 22 minutes per episode. Third Rock from the Sun is also on there and is nice to watch and feel good afterwards.
posted by juniperesque at 8:40 AM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Repeating my previous Prime recommendations: Mozart in the Jungle, a soapy romp about randy and competitive classical musicians in New York AND all three seasons of Black Books, a British sitcom kind of like The IT Crowd. Community is there, too, if you haven't already seen it. Oh, and you might like Psych.
posted by maudlin at 8:47 AM on May 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Best answer: If you like friendly and supportive reality tv, try The Great British Bake Off and the gardening show Big Dreams, Small Spaces.
posted by suelac at 8:50 AM on May 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Eureka
posted by freezer cake at 9:17 AM on May 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: They have the entire run of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Not everybody's cup of tea, but certainly light-hearted. And an interesting time capsule in places.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:22 AM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: The second season of Friday Night Lights has some attempted rape that's pretty upsetting. And there are themes of racism and homophobia in a bunch of the episodes -- it's gently treated, and my sister and I joke that the two main models we aspire to emulate in our grown adult relationships are Coach Taylor and Mrs. Taylor, and it's generally very uplifting, but be aware.

Brooklyn 99 is generally delightful, but if fat jokes are triggering for you, there are a fair number of those.

How are you with the level of violence/bad stuff in cozy mysteries? If you're OK with the British thing where somebody gets whacked on the head and then the next thing you see, there's a discreet shot of a body under tarp, or where the Detective Saves the Day and the Bad Thing is Fixed, you may like Phryne Fisher.

tl;dr: the only absolutely pure show is the Great British Bake Off, which is worth signing up for Netflix to binge uninterrupted and without the aspect ratios all janked-up.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:25 AM on May 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The second season of Friday Night Lights has some attempted rape that's pretty upsetting

And that's not the only disturbing crime in season two. On the other hand, I think you can just skip season two entirely and it's still coherent.
posted by Jahaza at 11:43 AM on May 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: A list of things you might like on Prime based on our very similar tastes:

Emma (2009 adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, but very accessible if you've never read Austen)
Pride and Prejudice (1995 miniseries)
Mr. Selfridge
Cranford (the 2007 version)
posted by katyggls at 12:11 PM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: When Mrs. Mason Dixon and I really want to escape, we turn to two things: KDramas and Bollywood movies.
Amazon Prime is pretty awful when it comes to KDramas, but our absolute, ABSOLUTE favorite Bollywood movie is on Prime Streaming RIGHT NOW.
Rab Ne Bana De Jodi.
Please do yourself a solid and watch it.

If you will venture outside Prime, please head over to Drama Fever, where they have some really wonderful, positive, cute and life affirming KDramas that I hope you will check out and love. They are free to watch if you don't mind the occasional ad.
We pay for it because we want to reward them for being these little joyful slices of life into our home.
A few of our favorites:
Coffee Prince
She Was Pretty
Snow Lotus Flower
He Who Can't Marry
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 12:30 PM on May 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: However, Blackadder is! And it's hysterical. All violence played for laughs.

Blackadder is one of my favorite shows in the world, but I think the violence rules it out for you - especially the final episode of season 4, which is gut wrenching.
posted by FencingGal at 12:43 PM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you can deal with the ancient attitudes sometimes on display, I've found Evening at the Improv and Def Comedy Jam pretty entertaining recently. Amazon also has old game shows like Match Game, Family Feud, Card Sharks, Super Password, and a few others that can be a nice diversion.
posted by wierdo at 1:22 PM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: I probably spend almost as much time browsing Prime Video as watching so I have a few suggestions:

Gavin and Stacey -- requires a high tolerance for James Corden (pre-US fame), which some people don't have.

Season 3 of The Dick van Dyke show (Seasons 1 and 2 seem to be available for Amazon streaming but aren't Prime because who knows).

The 1980 BBC version of Pride & Prejudice which is obviously not the classic 1995 version but also a good version if you're into Austen-y things. Also, at least two BBC versions of Sense & Sensibility are available through Prime, as well as the 1983 version of Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton as Rochester that influenced a great deal of my teenage reading. (A bunch of '80s BBC mini-series of classic novels appeared on Prime recently, so there's also Vanity Fair and a ton of Dickens and more Austen if that's your jam.)
posted by camyram at 3:14 PM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: I loved "The Detectorists".
posted by namret at 3:55 PM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Both recent Paddington movies are available and are absolutely delightful. We loved the first one so much I bought the second one without hesitation since it wasn’t available for rental yet.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 5:57 PM on May 21, 2018

Response by poster: These are brilliant, thank you.

I have seen Parks & Rec and it fits the bill well, apart from the inexplicable cruelty to Jerry on that show. I tried Friday Night Lights at some point, but it was too... grim for me, with life-changing injury, poverty, and child neglect and abuse showing up in the first few episodes.

Intellectualized murder mysteries of the bop-on-the-head variety would be ok, I'll look at Phyrne Fisher.
posted by medusa at 6:45 PM on May 21, 2018

Also The Ambassador, about a woman who is the British Ambassador to Ireland and Brief, about a British lawyer.
posted by theora55 at 9:10 PM on May 21, 2018

Being Erica is on Amazon Prime and is great for watching at night. It’s a Canadian series about a woman who gets to time travel to her past to right her perceived wrongs. I haven’t watched the whole series yet, but I think it would fit your requirements beautifully.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 9:11 PM on May 21, 2018

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