Baker's Dozen: Comfort Shows in 2021
A List of 13 Comfort Shows I Watched - and Rewatched - in 2021
Before I get to work on my 2022 Baker's Dozen lists, I have one more for my 2021! Since my previous list went over my comfort movies in 2021, it only seems fair that I also give attention to my comfort shows of 2021.
For those uncertain what a comfort show is exactly, it's basically a show you rewatch time and again because you already know how everything plays out; they don't throw you any new plot twists that you'll mull over for who knows how long. Something I can throw on in the background - that kinda thing. Below are my top 13 comfort shows in 2021; enjoy!
Anyone who read my previous list would not be surprised to see Jurassic World's Camp Cretaceous here! I first watched the first season while staying over to dog-sit at my sister's house - when I didn't have a whole lot else to do - and I wish it had been a thing back in my preteen/teen years! I have found it to be - so far - a really engaging and well-done show!
The six teen protagonists are each attending Camp Cretaceous as sort of a test-group. Each starts out as a stereotype, Breakfast Club style. The (dino) nerd. The athlete. The rich kid. The scared kid. The way-too optimistic kid. And the famous/popular kid. The usual mix-bag of starting characters. But the story is laid out - particularly in the first season - in a really engaging way.
These youngsters wind up going through their own character arcs in unique ways - not so cookie-cutter as most shows geared at kids and teens. It's got some pretty intense moments that I absolutely enjoy. Throw in the animation style, and it really is a show I would have loved to have started seeing well over a decade ago! I'm just happy I get to see it now, and I have no regrets saying it's earned its spot for my comfort shows of 2021 - it's quickly become one of my favorite fandoms! It is a Netflix show, so that is where you can find it!
It doesn't get more uncomfortable than a trip to the year 3000 with our goofy idiot from the 2000s, Fry! Maybe that fish-out-of-water aspect is what really makes the show so comfortable for me!
The whole point of the show is to put the main character in positions where he is uncomfortable and clueless; one of the first things that happens to Fry in the year 3000 is that he walks into what he assumes is a telephone booth - only to find that it is a machine with a much more morbid design! Fry's constant struggles help take my mind off my own for a bit, while my favorite drinking robot, Bender, makes me laugh with all the crazy and often insensitive things he does that I never could. Humor, crazy alien creatures, and snarky robots - what more could I want in a comfort show?
Okay, okay; I have a confession to make. I am really terrible about watching movies and show series - it's actually rare for me to get into something new. So what I'm about to type is kinda crazy; Yu Yu Hakusho is the only anime I have watched every episode of! Don't get me wrong - I love plenty of other shows. But I'm not really someone who wants to sit and watch 100+ episodes of a show.
And the other funny part?
I only watched the entire show the first time because I picked up one DVD at the local media store - long since removed.
I had seen a few episodes on television, but part of my never-really-watching-movies-and-series stems from the fact that I often only caught bits and pieces when my dad would go outside to work on cars or yard work, and I only got to watch uninterrupted until he came back inside, where I quickly switched back to whatever he had on TV. So I never really got invested in any shows or movies, because who knows how long I'd catch them for.
Fast forward to a trip to the local media store with my allowance where I recognized one of the side characters on the cover of a DVD. Yep - I even picked up a DVD whose events took place during the Dark Tournament for my first watch. I do recall watching the very first episodes on TV, so I wasn't all the way out of the loop, but I'm sure it's enough to drive someone crazy that I started off from the middle of the Dark Tournament, so many episodes into the storyline. But don't worry; I didn't know about boxed sets back then, so I wound up buying all 32 DVDs individually over the course of a few years. My wallet still hurts long after finding out about boxed sets...
The show, staring a troubled teenager and fighter named Yusuke Urameshi, follows his adventures from the moment he is hit and killed by a car to-
Yeah, no, you read that right; he starts off dead when we meet him. And then he goes about trying to earn back his life and body, before he becomes a Spirit Detective and starts fighting demons for the Spirit World. Truly, it's a ride.
Not only was this the only anime I watched start to finish - it is my favorite! I used to write - honestly, terrible - fan fiction for it, have many of the manga (I try to buy used and am missing several), own the 32 individual DVDs and the "second" movie, Poltergeist Report, and have posters, games, and various other odds and ends pertaining to the show. Maybe I'll put something together with those sometime in the future.
Honestly, there was no way this wouldn't be included in this list; the iconic opening title song "Smile Bomb" is as comforting as any lullaby to longtime fans (please note that the link is for a cover, not the actual version in the show). Last I checked, Yu Yu Hakusho is on Hulu.
4) BuzzFeed - Supernatural and Unsolved
I count both of these shows as pretty much the same given that I watch them interchangeably and they are (mostly) hosted by the same two guys throughout.
BuzzFeed Supernatural sees Ryan and Shane going over, well, supernatural things. Mostly going to spooky places rumored to be haunted and then viewers are treated to Ryan's humorous freak-outs and Shane's nonchalant approach and invitations for demons to prove him wrong and start manning his controls. Unsolved sees them trying to crack unsolved crime cases; and usually having a laugh at some of the crazy things that pop up in the research. Between the two, I'm happy to bring out the popcorn and at least hear some spooky tales.
Just uh, mind Shane; when he gets bored, he tends to get a little loud with the "ghosts". Keep the volume button at hand, especially if anyone else is sleeping. I've found them on Prime Video, or you can find the episodes on YouTube - as well as Q&A videos!
I know, I know; I can already hear the laments about inaccuracies!
I was a young kid when they came out - I first watched them at a kinda-friend's house (no way my parents would have gotten the series for me). And little kid me loved the series! Unfortunately, I had to settle with catching it on TV if it ever aired. So I was quite happy when my boyfriend pointed out it was on streaming services a few years back! I was able to watch it as much as I wanted!
While I love the storytelling and the animations, I must admit; it's more that I have favorite episodes. Episode 2, "Time of the Titans", is set in prehistoric Colorado and features my personal favorite - and state fossil - Stegosaurus. Episode 3, "Cruel Sea" features the aquatic reptiles that lived alongside dinosaurs, and is probably my favorite episode of the miniseries. I can't get me enough of those crazy marine reptiles!
There's also a long list of inaccuracies - usually about the time frames certain species would exist. But it's still a throwback to my younger days, and I find myself looking the miniseries up if I want to rewatch something familiar and full of prehistoric life.
Much is the same as the previous entry, honestly. There's still issues. Still certain episodes I like more.
Here, though, instead of dinosaurs, we see the creatures that dominated after; mammals. At first still threatened by non-avian birds, they quickly diversified to fill niches left vacant after the demise of the dinosaurs. Some returned to the sea, some grew to be the biggest things on the planet since the dinosaurs, and some start to look very, very familiar.
If I'm feeling like watching something prehistoric, but not necessarily more dinosaurs, this miniseries has me covered.
I'll admit; I've got a weird fascination with prehistoric water dwellers for someone who lives in a mountain state! Truthfully, I enjoy all the Walking With... series, but some see more views than others. And in 2021, I was really digging the three-parter on "sea monsters" - really, it's like a time-traveling safari through the prehistoric oceans.
The narrator and main focus of the series takes us through the seven deadliest seas of all time, and they are full of weird and wonderful creatures! I really enjoy how they put the humans in the environment; it's very true to form for how folks study living animals today. For example, when facing off against the bony armored fish dunkleosteous, the main character climbs into a round, underwater cage. They try to bait small megalodon into attacking fake prey and even attempt to tag a full-grown megalodon like we would see scientists doing today to great whites.
The three-part miniseries is a real splash!
A bit more modern than other prehistoric series I've mentioned, I have quickly taken a liking to the narration of this one! More modern means some very different changes over the Walking With series - now more dinosaurs are featured with feathers or down!
It also takes a look at spinosaurus and the evidence of this huge creature feasting on mostly fish, though this creature is still being figured out. Who knows what it'll look and behave like in another 20 years!
These episodes quickly became favorites in 2021 as newer entries, and they make for subtle background noise if I'm on the computer! I only get annoyed with the subtitles for a few episodes being reversed on Prime Video!
While I don't fish, I find this series very interesting and relaxing! Jeremy Wade narrates for viewers as he discovers evidence of deaths by freshwater fish. Traveling to the source, he attempts to fish up the culprits and riddle out what species could deal the damages he's seen in photos.
I enjoy the soft narration and the recreated scenes are well done. He even has an episode dedicated to the mystery of Loch Ness - with an unexpected contender for the true identity of the Loch Ness Monster and another that features a long list of prehistoric fish as he tried to rank them for their size, teeth, and possible behaviors. After many trips to various places - and interactions with a slew of water-borne parasites - there's even an episode exploring those!
When I was looking for something a little spooky in 2021, I turned to Paranormal Witness. I enjoy spooky tales and seeing what evidence folks claim to have for it, and this series does well to recreate some really creepy things! Like most haunted shows, there's mostly the stories and recreations; but occasionally some actual footage! Even without it, some of these depictions are downright scary!
Among my favorite episodes, "The Cabin" from season two is one I readily rewatch! There's little more frightening than strange eyes looking at you while you're in a cabin in the woods! Get comfortable being uncomfortable!
11) The Haunted
What's better than tales of the haunted? Tales of the haunted with critters! Okay, maybe not so much....
I enjoy this series over others I used to enjoy because not as many directly go to "everything's a demon". It's gotten to the point I damn near injure myself rolling my eyes at priests and exorcists in most depictions in other series. I don't really buy into demons and "evil forces" - but I do like dark history and creepy coincidences, which typically go hand-in-hand with "haunted" places. So while I find this series to be slightly annoying, it's less annoying than other shows with more, "demon, be gone"!
Sadly, critters often pay a price in this series, so that's always a bummer. My own critters like it when I put the show on though; they have a higher chance of getting more treats and cuddles!
12) Rick and Morty
Some days, I just wanna watch some poor, confused kid get the run around from his crazy, portal-toting grandpa! Full of fun little details, this show delivers much-needed sarcasm and above-average family drama! As well as a decent dose of, "what the f*ck?"! Humor, crudeness, and a general disregard of all things that should matter is the name of the game! Is it an episode set in outer space fighting aliens that look a bit, uh... suggestive? Or is it one with Summer absolutely ruining something?
Whether I wanted think on those small details or just wanted to veg out, Rick and Morty was an all-around show for me in 2021! Ain't no chaos like what's in this show!
Finishing off this Baker's Dozen list, here is number 13! Initially more my boyfriend's show than mine, the last few years have seen me adopt it! When I used to catch bits and pieces back before I met my partner, I couldn't get over how cringe-worthy most of the behaviors were. In fact, new episodes are still really, really cringe-worthy to me!
However, after years of exposure to the show now, it's become a staple on the nights my boyfriend and I cuddle on the couch to nom and watch things together! Nothing quite like watching scene after scene of unbridled, dick-ish behaviors to bring us closer together! There's hardly a night together on the couch that we don't wind up putting one of these episodes on!
Thank you for checking my Baker's Dozen: Comfort Shows of 2021 out! I hope you've found it entertaining and consider checking some of them out if you've never done so!
If you enjoyed this Baker's Dozen, consider checking out my other similar posts for 2021:
Baker's Dozen: 2021 Beats in Review - I pick 13 of my 100 tracks on my Spotify wrapped to tell my story of 2021.
Baker's Dozen: Podcasts I Loved in 2021 - a list of 13 podcasts I loved in 2021
Baker's Dozen: YouTube Channels I Loved in 2021 - 13 YouTube Channels I loved
Baker's Dozen: Cannabis Strains I Loved in 2021 - 13 strains I loved
Baker's Dozen: Comfort Movies 2021 - 13 comfort movies I loved
Thank you once again! Keep an eye out for future Baker's Dozen lists!