Comfort TV from Sno-Isle Libraries

It’s been a stressful time, and I can’t deny that I’ve been feeling a little anxious.
When I feel anxious, I don’t seek out new and exciting things. Instead, I turn to old favorites. I put on classic movies, reread beloved old books, and – perhaps most comforting of all – I rewatch British television shows I’ve already seen.
Perhaps you didn’t know that, with your Sno-Isle Libraries card, you can get hours of free streaming TV through our digital service, Hoopla. Fifteen titles per month, completely free!
Just go to Hoopla and click Get Started to enter your library card number and other details.  Then you can search for movies, TV shows, and even comic books.

The catalog includes loads of soul-restoring British programs. Here are a few of my favorites:

Foyle’s War

Michael Kitchen plays Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, a quiet, methodical copper. He keeps the peace and investigates crime in the bucolic south of England during World War II. The show follows Foyle as he clashes with military intelligence and worries about his Royal Air Force son. The pace is leisurely, which makes it all the more enjoyable to note the copious historical details and soak up the Stay-Calm-And-Carry-On atmosphere. Watch the seasons in order to appreciate the slow build of relationships and suspense.

Call the Midwife

This terrific program is about a nursing order of nuns who, in the 1950s and 1960s, provided vital healthcare in the seedy East End of London. Through its talented, almost all-female cast, the show explores a lot of very serious themes: poverty, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, abortion, racism, child abuse … And yet, I do find this show very soothing? Maybe it’s the earnest goodwill of the midwives, struggling to help people against all the odds. Maybe it’s the emotional catharsis: this show can and does make me cry. Grab your hankie and give it a try!

The Great British Baking Show

In this incredibly charming reality show, amateur bakers from all over the UK gather beneath a striped tent to compete for the honor of Star Baker. More importantly, in contrast to so many American reality programs, the contestants help and encourage each other. Is anything more heartwarming than competitors who laugh together over cake? This congenial atmosphere, married to truly mouthwatering images of baked goods, makes for a winning combination. (And I especially enjoy a feature of the early seasons: historical interludes about different types of cakes. They got rid of these in later years, but I was a fan.)

Sometimes the world just seems too much. If you feel that way, head over to Hoopla, set up an account with your library card, and search for your favorite comfort show. Ahh, that’s better.

Do you like British TV?

Like I said, Hoopla has lots. Check out a few more of my favorites; and if you have any recommendations, let us know in the comments!

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