30 minutes of me time

20 Half-Hour TV Shows To Watch In That Post-Bedtime Sweet Spot

Don't sleep on these perfect 30-minute gems. (Sleep after them.)

We Are Lady Parts

This smart, funny, warm, pitch-perfect British sitcom about a group of young Muslim women who start a punk band is totally refreshing, a lot of fun, and streaming on Peacock right now.

The Hook Up Plan

If you’re not too tired for subtitles, this fluffy confection of a French TV show will hit the post-bedtime spot. Super light, this 30-minute comedy is like Sex and the City with a French accent.


Brits do warm-without-being-saccharine TV shows so well, and Trying is a perfect example. The show follows a couple on their adoption journey and is anchored by a hilarious supporting cast.
Apple TV / Trying
Better Things

You’re telling me you haven’t watched Better Things yet? Stop everything and go catch up on Pamela Adlon’s magnum opus, which circles motherhood, daughterhood, and everything therein and beyond. It is pure genius.


Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, and Paula Pell play members of a fictional ‘90s band in Girls5Eva. This show follows the women as they reunite to reclaim their fame. Season 3 is coming soon, so now is the time to get caught up.
Peacock TV / Girls5eva
Our Flag Means Death

Also known in our house as “the pirate show,” Our Flag Means Death is hard to categorize but I think it’s mostly a romance? Taika Waititi plays Blackbeard and, well, I don’t know what else to tell you except that you should watch it if you haven’t, and I’m jealous that you get to watch it for the first time.

Joe Pera Talks With You

Technically this is not a half-hour TV show — even better, it’s shorter! This quiet, gentle, unique, funny, weird, meditative Adult Swim show will win your heart in many tiny, perfect episodes.

Reservation Dogs

Brainchild of Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, this show is top of my to-watch list. It “blends dumb jokes, smart jokes, satire, pathos, social realism, magical realism...into a series that is fresh, funny, and heartfelt,” according to NPR. Sold.

Party Down

Before you can dive into Season 3 — which just came out in February after a 12-year hiatus — you’ll need to get spun up on this ultra-fun, cult-favorite starring Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, and Lizzy Caplan. Are we having fun yet?!

Chewing Gum

I will watch anything Michaela Coel puts out into the world. Like all of Coel's work, Chewing Gum is a little frenetic, but it's also brilliant, totally fresh, and hilarious. You've never seen a show quite like this — promise.

Feel Good

It’s hard to explain a show this rich and unique and warm. Written and created by Canadian comedian Mae Martin, it explores love, gender, identity, addiction, trauma, and family with vulnerability and humor. It’s fresh, smart, and you’re going to love it.
Netflix / Feel Good
This Way Up

Everyone knows that Sharon Horgan spins nothing but pure TV gold, and This Way Up is Horgan-produced delightfulness packaged in 30-minute doses. It’s often funny, but this show deals with more serious themes of addiction and mental health, too.

This Fool

Somehow, this half-hour Hulu gem has flown under the radar. This Fool tells the story of Julio, who works at Hugs Not Thugs, a gang rehabilitation non-profit in South Central Los Angeles. It’s funny, heart-warming, and fresh.

The Letdown

If you have a newborn, this Aussie comedy might hit a little too close to home. Or, it might be the catharsis you need. Every parent will relate to this honest, funny portrait of new parenthood.
Netflix / The Letdown

Veep is darkly funny the way that Succession (another Frank Rich show) is darkly funny, but in a way that leans slightly more towards the funny than the dark.


You’ve never watched a show quite like Atlanta. It’ll make you feel feelings, and that’s all I’m going to say. Just watch it, and don’t ever get too comfortable — this brilliant, genre-pushing show will keep you on your toes.
Hulu / Atlanta
The Other Two

Like all great shows, this one sneaks up on you. It’s funny right away — delightfully grown-up and yes, occasionally explicit — but before you know it, it’s pulling on your heartstrings, too. Plus, it stars Molly Shannon! Always a good thing.

I’m Sorry

After a few episodes of this bitingly funny sitcom about motherhood and marriage, you’ll be hooked on Andrea Savage and her unique take on being a working mom in America right now.

Derry Girls

Everyone has told you to watch Derry Girls, and now we are, too. A cozy comedy about being a teenager in Northern Ireland in the ‘90s — i.e. during the last years of “the Troubles” — this show is simply a must-watch.
Netflix / Derry Girls
Toast of London

Toast of London is Matt Berry — you might know him from What We Do In The Shadows — at his Matt Berry-est. The show is about a washed up British actor and is absurd and hilarious. It might take a few episodes to get hooked, but once you’re in, you’re in.