3 Hidden Benefits to Watching Old Sitcoms

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air picture

Today All Groan Up is honored to welcome Erica Horowitz, an editorial assistant at a book publishing company in Hoboken, NJ, part time freelance writer, wannabe life coach, and self-proclaimed ‘old soul’.


Confession: I use old TV shows for comfort and I’m not embarrassed to admit it!

Okay…I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I’m going to anyway.

Having just turned 25, the world can sometimes feel sort of…heavy.

Yes, I’m generally happy, healthy, have a stable job, and good people in my life. But between my childhood friends drifting apart, spending countless hours deliberating how to pursue my dreams (and even more struggling to put together some concrete image of what those dreams are), and figuring out how I’m going to afford living in NYC without resorting to surviving on street meat, I’m constantly reminded that time is moving steadily whether I’m ready or not.

Frankly, just coming to terms with the fact that I am apparently looked at as a responsible adult—um, what?—can be overwhelming.

Sometimes, a little Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full House, or Friends is all it takes to calm me down.


Fresh Prince of Bel-Air picture


I think it’s because I know these classic ‘80s and ‘90s shows will always be there. They will never change. They are a time capsule. Something feels so damn good and homey about that. They take me back to “a simpler time” and keep me in touch with my inner kid.

Yet as much as it feels like I’m just vegging out, I always end up gaining some surprising benefits from tuning in to these throwbacks. (That’s in addition to the hot-cocoa-hug-on-a-winter-day feeling I STILL get from seeing Uncle Jesse. Two words: Have mercy.) They help inspire me to:

1. Streamline Issues

Okay, I realize that the way sitcoms wrap up difficult situations in under a half an hour isn’t exactly realistic, but it gets me thinking that there are things in my life that I over-complicate and could handle in quicker, more strategic ways.

2. Go For My Dreams

Along with the oldies, current Disney shows like Shake It Up or Austin and Ally, which both depict young people going after their dreams with such fearless passion, get me fired up and motivated. They’ve often helped me kick my ego to the side, if even just for a night, to start writing a piece or booking my next dance class.

3. Be A Kinder, More Lighthearted Person

I dare you to be in a bad mood after viewing the Carlton dance in all its glory. Come on—I dare you! The fantastic corniness of certain shows helps me take myself less seriously.

I swear I’m not making up these side perks as a way to justify lazy time. Hey, perhaps if MORE people watched Family Matters re-runs, the world would be a happier, more peaceful place!

Just kidding.

Actually, it couldn’t hurt. But that’s beside the point.

In my opinion, as long as one isn’t in denial that times are in fact a’changin’, getting a regular dose of nostalgia from old TV favorites is normal and healthy. Because let’s face it—sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Now, what the heck is so wrong with that?

I’d love to hear from you:

What old sitcom makes you feel all warm and snuggly inside?


  1. Sarah

    This is great, and absolutely true! My favorite is Boy Meets World. 🙂

  2. Erika

    I Love Lucy!

    Although, Hogan’s Heroes and I Dream of Jeannie are close seconds. 🙂

    It’s so nice to know that things will work out.

  3. Rebecca Fraser-Thill

    I love this post – this is EXACTLY what I do. My husband and I turn to old sitcoms whenever life proves to be too overwhelming. We’ve been doing it since our early 20s and we’re now in our mid-30s…so if you feel embarrassed about this habit, we should feel so, plus 10. “Friends” is our go-to when life feels like too much. The more locations you find Friends DVDs in around our house, the more stress you know we’re under. At tax time this year there were DVDs in both of our laptops and next to all three of our TVs. Thanks for the good read.

  4. admin

    Great post Erika! Boy Meets World definitely holds a special place in my heart as well.

    Wings also brings a smile to my soul.

    And of course, Saved by the Bell

  5. Blue

    Friends, How I met your mother (although it’s new), etc make me escape the real world i live in! i love how it seems easy for the characters to pursue their dreams. I come from a different culture than what we see in the sitcoms.. but that doesn’t define me.. and it makes me feel like i can accomplish my dreams, although people around me think it’s not possible But for me, there’s no harm in trying. and i know that if it doesn’t work.. well it doesn’t work! there’s always a plan B, or C.. or Z…

  6. Louise

    Pingu and Fireman Sam (British TV shows) from when I was very young! Sometimes it’s fun to get nostalgic and watch them on youtube. I’ve also watched some of Saved By The Bell so I knew what my American flatmates were talking about. And Friends is always good, makes me nostalgic for my student days when watching it for 3 hours each evening was fine!


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