Hallo there. Gosh. It’s important NOT to ignore the news, but also it’s important to balance caring about and acting on current events with looking after your heart and brain so that you do not self-combust.
And honestly? I thought self-combustion – like quicksand – would be more of a problem for the community due to my formative ’70s and ’80s media-consuming years. These were things that happened and were a) in my favourite drama or b) on the cover of a “Weird sh*t that has happened” special edition magazine you could buy at the newsagent and pore over with your pals at lunchtime behind the demountables.
ANNNNYWAY. If you’re keen to check into some less alarming stuff once you have made your action/opinion count (by voting, enrolling to vote, donating, making something, helping someone, writing something, demonstrating) then you’ve landed in a good spot.
It’s a new spot called SET YOUR SIGHTS ON and it is a place where I/we will talk about some good stuff to watch. Stuff that will not melt your inner core and turn you into a puddle of doom-fearing, stomach-knotted angst (phew!) It is also a place where you can share your SET YOUR SIGHTS ON suggestions.
Please note that I do not know or watch it all – and I would love it if you shared your suggestions.
Please also note that I don’t advocate checking out of current events or news altogether. What I do advocate is balancing your compassion, action and care for the world/other humans with your own optimal (in its own way) mental health.
Lets kick off with some shows I have talked about before – and some I haven’t. Shows that will not create a massive knot in your stomach or make you hyperventilate/lose sleep …
Set Your Sights On: October Edition
AKA Hopeful, Heartening and Happy Viewing Suggestions for Ace People
These shows/films/clips generally will not have any obvious snafoos that will make you feel crappy about the world.
As popular as these genres are, the idea of SET YOUR SIGHTS ON is to veer away from scary, sad and crime-related content, all of which may send those who are trying to cope with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other conditions down a hard-to-handle road.
Sometimes people want to watch things that don’t rough them up them like they’ve been through an emotional cheese grater, ya know?
Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast
This is a blinking good reality show about a K-pop star and her hubby’s gorgeous and funny hospitality and it’s centred on an island in South Korea. There are other K-pop stars and if you know nothing about K-pop it does not matter, you will love this show.
It’s on Netflix and I’ve spoken about it before in glowing terms. YES it is from Korea and thus has subtitles but can I tell you something? If you are feeling overwhelmed there is nothing better than a gentle and sweet show with subtitles. Not only does it STOP you from multitasking, it reminds you that you really can concentrate on doing ONE THING (aka single tasking aka being mindful) at a time. I swear watching this show is the best mindfulness training ever!
This show is very good for anyone navigating tricky times because it slows you the heck down and reminds you that there is a whole other world out there and that people are good (and also have cute pets and cook delicious foods.) The episodes are long and have bonkers subtitles and weird on-screen animations – but they’re also full of kindness and cuteness.
Incredibly highly recommended by me. If my opinion counts. My fave.
Catalyst: Bionic Revolution
It’s a documentary. Okay, the thing here is that I have only seen the ads for this but it looked ace. It’s easy to imagine that the world is a hostile place, but there are amazing people doing excellent and indeed life-changing things and this show is about those brill types. It’s up on iView now for Australian viewers.
I am guessing some people reading here will have seen this, and if so can you please tell us a bit more? I will watch it on the weekend and report back. I wanted to recommend it simply because I loved how clever and helpful it looked. It is obviously a pretty emotional topic, and I reckon it’s a goodie. Tell me if I’m wrong tho.
A cooking show. Martha is an unforgiving taskmaster and ‘People Pleaser’ is not in her vocabulary. In fact people-pleasing is for weaklings which means I am TOAST.
That said she does (sometimes begrudgingly, perhaps even cynically) allow other people on her show and it’s not only (accidentally) hysterical to watch it’s very educational. Martha and her friends will have you saying things like ‘You screw the baking paper up and THEN line the pan? GENIUS!’ or ‘I wish I had a bowl of that lovely pistachio filling right now! And a straw!’ or ‘How am I not a master of choux pastry at this point in my life?!’ (On Netflix)
This show is a goodie and will make you want to make pretzels in 3 seconds flat.
A cheesy drama. I mean gosh. Gilmore Girls is so frustrating and soothing. You will be shouting at the telly in a kind way, willing Rory and Lorelei to make better choices and also be your mum/sister/bestie/next door neighbour.
I have written about this show before and I will write about it again because if you want to spiral down a cheesy, warm, kind sort of wormhole than this might exactly what you are looking for. (On Netflix) Worth rewatching if you have seen it and need a comfort view.
Also good to note that Rory went on to appear in MadMen (and married Pete in real life!) and Jess of course is now starring in This Is Us.
Please Note – there is a lot of romance-y stuff in GG, so if you are super sensitive and recovering from a break up – or think couples are a stupid construct drummed up by the patriarchy you may want to avoid! But otherwise go nuts.
The Real Housewives of New York
A bonkers reality show. Oh sure you can turn your nose up, but this show is brilliant escapism and will have you laughing, gasping and holding your sides in disbelief. Start from the start, waaaayyyy back and enjoy the ride. I know that some people think they are too clever for the Housewives, but I am telling you some of the cleverest people I know watch these shows. They are steeped in unlikely storylines, relatable drama and sneaky power plays and it is simply SO MUCH FUN to watch it all play out. (It’s okay if you hate me now. I’m fine with it!).
You can watch this lots of different ways (I watch on Hayu) and I thoroughly recommend a rewatch if you’ve already seen it.
Please note that this show is a bit of a pantomime and can be insensitive. It covers addiction, eating disorders and mental health crisis – so just be aware that amidst the giggles there are some big issues. This may make it hard to watch for people navigating similar issues. But if you’re NOT feeling vulnerable due to those, it’s freaking hilarious. I recently watched it all for the second time viewing the ladies as part court jester and part agony aunt and part ratbag bestie. That worked for me. #TeamBethenny
That concludes our very first SET YOUR SIGHTS ON. Thank you for playing along!
I’d love to hear your recommendations for less confronting/upsetting viewing.
Add them in the comments if you fancy! (But no pressure to do that!)