It’s Friday! Which means I get to take a break from all this “I’m a freelancer” stuff and write about something fun and fancy-free. Today’s topic covers one of my favorite past times: binge watching. Here is a totally subjective list of the shows I like to play in the background while I’m writing if I don’t want to listen to my Pandora playlists. These are the shows that you don’t even need to keep your eyes on the screen to get a sense of what’s going on, and won’t diminish upon multiple watches. Mostly these are mindless comedies but at least quirky enough to keep me coming back. What’s your go-to background noise show?


Bob’s Burgers


This show has constantly surprised me. I have a love-hate relationship with adult cartoons but Bob’s Burgers is a warm and pun-filled romp. There are so many puns in this show and I’m not sick of it yet. It also has a cast of characters with voices that aren’t totally jarring which is factor number one when finding shows to play as background noise.


Big Bang Theory


Try and get past the laugh track and this show is perfect to not pay attention to. I don’t consider Big Bang Theory a great show by any means but it has a little more going for it than the average sitcom. Also, bonus, if you watch it enough times you can pick out the continuity errors and writing goofs, which will help with your own writing.




What’s not to love about this quirky to the extreme buddy show about a fake psychic and his friend. I have my favorite episodes that I continue to go back to, and the homage to all things pop culture is really what makes this show so enjoyable. Not to mention the chemistry between co-stars Dule Hill and James Roday.


America’s Next Top Model


I know what you’re thinking. Why would you re-watch a reality show, especially if you’ve seen it before? Well, besides the fact that every girl on the show is a novel in her own right, I mean we’re talking character studies, clichés and gender studies galore. But, since the only things that really demand your full attention are the photo reveals at the end, keeping it in the background lets you enjoy the drama and fierce from a sometimes much-needed distance.


Better Off Ted


Very few people have heard of this show and I don’t know why. It’s got the fast-talking wit of Arrested Development and the heart of The Office (later seasons). It’s an office comedy with some unusual conflicts and Portia De Rosi rocks.




What better time to watch a show about the intricacies of politics than now. This hilarious show is reminiscent of Parks and Rec but delves deeper in the ugly side of politics. This is another one of those shows where the cadence and vocal levels are never truly garish or distracting. Perfect background noise.


Trial and Error


This little comedy of literal errors on NBC is witty and laughably absurd. It’s a show about an up and coming New York lawyer sent to represent the main suspect in a murder trial. Fans of Third Rock from the Sun will not be sorry to see John Lithgow doing what John Lithgow does best. A zany cast of characters and the mockumentary style helps round out the wacky feel.


The IT Crowd


A British show that only ran for four glorious seasons, The IT Crowd is one my favorite BBC comedies to air – ever! It helped launch the career of Bridesmaid’s actor Chris O’Dowd, and Richard Ayoade as the genius with zero social skills is brilliant. The show doesn’t span much further than a few sets so keeping your eyes from the screen doesn’t deter from the action.


These shows are perfect for droning on in the background while you furiously type out your latest magazine article or short story. What shows do you play in the background? Do you agree with my list? Or are you more of a “must have silence to focus” type? Let me know in the comments. And have a happy weekend!