Click here to jump to TV Shows

More movies

(I'm not sure whether there's a way to recommend the right ones to the right people or mood, so just listing them for now)

The Matrix (1999)
Trolls (2016)
Lagaan (2001)
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Once (2007)
Clueless (1995)
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
13 Going on 30 (2004)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
The 5th Element (1997)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Thor (2011)

And also:

Mary Poppins (1964)
Moana (2016)
Casino Royale (2006) (and other Bond films)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
The Lego Movie (2014) (and Lego Batman (2017) and the Lego Movie 2 (2019))
Independence Day (1996)
Titanic (1997)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Almost Famous (2000)
Amélie (2001)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Romeo and Juliet (1996)
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Ant Man (2015)
Harold & Maude (1971)
Wayne's World (1992)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Despicable Me (2010)
Kon Tiki (the 1950 original)
Avatar (2009)
Shrek (2001)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Men in Black (1997)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Miyazaki (e.g. Spirited Away)
Spirited Away (2001)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Grave of the Fireflies
Ponyo (2008)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Truman Show (1998)
Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Chicken Run (2000)
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Moonrise Kingdom (and other Wes Anderson like the Grand Budapest Hotel) (2012)
X-Men movies
X-Men (2000)
X2 (2003)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men First Class (2011)
The Wolverine (2013)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)
Pixar movies (but maybe skip the Good Dinosaur and the Cars movies?)
Wall-E (2008)
Monsters Inc. (2001) (there's a prequel)
Finding Nemo (2003) (there's a sequel)
Up (2009)
Inside Out (2015)
The Incredibles (2004) (there's a sequel)
Toy Story (1995) (there are 3 more)
Bug's Life (1998)
Coco (2017)
Ratatouille (2007)
Brave (2012)
Soul (2020)
Disney movies (The Little Mermaid, etc.)
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Beauty & The Beast (1991)
Aladdin (1992)
The Lion King (1994)
Moana (2016)
Frozen (2013)
Robin Hood (1973)
School of Rock (2003)
Garden State (2004)
E.T. (1982)
Back to the Future (1985)
The Neverending Story (1984)
Hamilton (2020)
Batman Begins (2005)
Triplets of Belleville (2003)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Top Gun (1986)
A Star is Born (2018)
Something's Gotta Give (2003)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Legally Blonde (2001)
Little Women (2019)
Mamma Mia (2008) (there’s a sequel/prequel)
Lost in Translation (2003)
About Time (2013)
Imagine Me & You (2005)
Twilight (2008) (there are 4 sequels)
Her (2013)
Song of the Sea (2014)
Warner Herzog films

These are pretty weird, but also pretty special. I'm mostly captivated by the ones where he is the creator and storyteller, e.g. Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World

Remember the Titans (2000)
The Station Agent (2003)
Paris Je T'aime (2006)
Anchorman/Talladega Nights/Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
The Notebook (2004)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Addam's Family Values (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Anastasia (1997)
Pleasantville (1998)
Austin Powers (1997)
South Park - Bigger Longer Uncut (1999)
Run Lola Run (1998)
Gattaca (1997)
Before Sunrise (1995)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Hook (1991)

TV Shows

Reality (good for binging without the emotional investment/strain):

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (short episodes, light hearted vibe)

Chef's Table (portraits of exceptional chefs, shot beautifully -- my favorite is the Korean nun, but there's also a spin-off specifically for BBQ which is what I found first)

Parts Unknown (Anthony Bourdain -- really accessible travel/history/culture that feels really authentic)

Say Yes to the Dress (the original if you can find it)

Tidying Up w/ Marie Kondo

What Not to Wear

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (the original if you can find it)


Parks & Rec

Glee (musical)

30 Rock?


South Park?


Modern Family?

Quirky (not really dramatic in the serious way):

Ted Lasso (people generally making good decisions/doing the right thing — though I can only vouch for season 1)

Kipo (worth trying just for the fun music)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Northern Exposure (an oldie but goodie)

Once Upon a Time (what the people who made Lost actually wanted to make)

Avatar the Last Air Bender (anime, but solid story and characters)

Star Trek (NG, Enterprise, etc.)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot (available via your library card & hoopla)

Grantchester (another PBS mystery program with a small town inspector and his surprising crime-solving partner: the handsome young vicar — should maybe be in the drama section with Poldark, but generally lighter fare)

Rick & Morty


Friday Night Lights (not the main topic, but one of the best examples of a healthy marriage I’ve seen on TV)

Battlestar Gallactica

Fringe (sci-fi crime solving — each episode starts with something pretty disturbing, but the squad is ~”good people” and as a bonus, they have really great wardrobes)


The West Wing (serious, but good people trying hard)

Studio 64 (30 Rock but by the West Wing people and not done as a comedy)

The Wire (also serious)


Nashville? (I like the inclusion of music without it being a “musical”)

TrueBlood? (This could maybe go up in the quirky section)

Dexter? (only ok because he’s weirdly a good guy — rumor has it that by the end of the series they break this 😕)

Virgin River? (soapy but basically wholesome)

Poldark? (Similar vibe to Outlander but way less violence/fear and also less steamy)

*I’m actually pretty interested in recommendations for anything on this page — either things I forgot to list or things I don’t know about (now that you’ve seen what I like and could maybe triangulate).

For movies and shows: I currently can’t handle suspense/tension/startle things and I have no interest in horror, sexual violence, or torture (Marvel type violence is about my limit). It’s best for me if the people are trying to do the right thing and aren’t cruelly punished for it.