When I was planning what to pack in my hospital bag, I knew that I most definitely needed my laptop, no matter what anyone said. I knew I wanted (needed) to watch something while I was being induced, especially because my doctor said it would take a couple of days. My Netflix weapon of choice was The Office. I think I've seen it a thousand times at least, and I needed something funny and lighthearted. There are definitely some Netflix shows to watch while in labor that are better than others. While I wouldn't recommend watching something that's intense, dramatic, or requires a lot of heavy thought and thinking (also maybe skip things like Call the Midwife), something lighthearted and funny will do just the trick.
I was so thankful I had the shenanigans of Michael G. Scott, and Dwight K. Schrute distracting me, as well as the fact that Pam needed to just freaking be with Jim already because OMG hurry up and get your head out of your butt. But I also find the show comforting (hence watching it so many times), and believe it or not, there is "science" behind why you can't watch the show enough. In fact, "The Office is an ensemble production, which means there are multiple psychological access points and emotional hooks to enter the world ... people can identify with all sorts of situations in the context of office politics and interpersonal relationships," Pamela Rutledge, the director of the Media Psychology Research Center told Bustle.
So what ensemble show or comedic show will help you through labor? Well, Netflix has a ton to choose from, so I guess it depends on what you're in the mood for and if you can concentrate.
1. 'The Office'
Like I said, this is what I watched. The Office was the perfect show for watching during labor because it's hilarious, lighthearted, fast-paced, and gave me comfort and warm fuzzies. I always seem to come back to it if I'm having a bad day or feel depressed.
2. 'Queer Eye'
Watching the fab five change people's lives is definitely something that will take your mind off of labor. You'll be rooting them on as people become more confident in themselves, and have a fresh start in their homes, lives, and relationships. Plus, their banter in Queer Eye is sure to put a smile on your face.
3. 'New Girl'
Whether you've seen the show a thousand times and you're watching it for comfort, or you're watching the "adorkably" funny manic pixie dream girl that is Jess who lives with three single guys, New Girl will hit you in the feels and make you laugh out loud. The fact that it's an ensemble cast like The Office will definitely help matters.
4. 'The Good Place'
Have you ever wondered where you'd end up after you die? Well, Eleanor Shellstrop was happy to find out she ended up in "the good place" when she finds herself in the afterlife — that is until she realizes there's been a mistake. The Good Place is also by Michael Schur, one of the masterminds behind The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn 99, to name a few hits. So you know you'll have your mind taken off of labor at least a little bit.
If you want to feel inspired and filled with girl power during labor, GLOW is the show for you. It's a wonderful '80s throwback featuring an all-female ensemble of wrestlers who each have a gimmick, making them endearing and lovable. You'll find yourself rooting for each and every one of them. It's also quietly feminist, which is amazing, and you'll be laughing out loud at the witty banter and one liners — especially from Marc Maron.
Comdey-drama series Parenthood has just enough humor, and just enough drama, to keep you entertained during labor. Follow the Braverman crew and laugh and cry right along with them. And you know if Lauren Graham is in it, the acting will be phenomenal and the dialogue will be entertaining.
7. 'Schitt's Creek'
Think it's hilarious to watch rich people go broke and learn how to survive as "normal" people? Then Canadian sitcom Schitt's Creek is definitely for you. Watch the Rose family attempt to rebuild their lives in hilarious fashion. (You will not get enough of the cast, which includes Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara.)
8. 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'
Now Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is about as lighthearted and silly as it gets. The Office's Ellie Kemper is perfect as naive and sickeningly sweet Kimmy, who survives a doomsday cult only to be thrusted into New York City to figure out how real life works. Her positive attitude and hilarious supporting characters like Titus Andromedon will have you laughing and cheering her on. Plus it's created by Tina Fey, so you know it's golden.
9. 'Parks and Recreation'
Oh, Michael Schur, how I love thee. Parks and Recreation is another show I've binged too many times to count, and I always go back to it when I need to watch something comforting, funny, and highly entertaining. You'll love Leslie Knope for her can-do attitude, her fierce determination, and her willingness to always do the right thing for her town. Plus her love interest Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) is also dreamy to look at and hilarious to watch in my opinion. The writing in this show is incredibly funny, sharp, and witty, and Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman will have you laughing out loud.
10. 'Grace and Frankie'
To me, Grace and Frankie is one of the most underrated shows on Netflix right now. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play Grace and Frankie, respectively, and they're the ultimate odd "couple" when their long-time attorney partner husbands confess to their wives that they've always loved each other and have been having an affair for years. Frankie is a pot smoking hippy, and Grace is a martini drinking rich snob — well at the beginning anyway. The dialogue and writing is hilarious, and you'll definitely be entertained.
11. 'The Great British Baking Show'
Need a calming presence while you're laboring? Enter The Great British Baking Show. I know I'm a little late to the game, but since my son was born, I definitely tune in to this show when I need to relax and just feel calm. It's just so cute, lovely, and relaxing to watch these delightfully British contestants bake like they're on a Food Network competition show, but much, much calmer. You'll come back to it again and again when you need to de-stress, even after labor.
12. 'Gilmore Girls'
Another show I've seen dozens of times all the way through and is another comfort to me. Lorelai and Rory's relationship in Gilmore Girls is something to be envious of, and the witty banter, quick dialogue, quirky town, and crazy cast of characters is as endearing as it is hilarious. Watch as small town girl Rory works toward the Ivy League while her single mom cheers her on and is her best friend through all of her ups and downs.
Matt Groening is at it again. If you loved The Simpsons and Futurama, you'll love his latest — Disenchantment, an animated series set in a medieval fantasy kingdom. Follow an alcoholic princess named Bean and all of her fellow whimsy characters for a lot of laughs.
Another classic that many folks come back to again and again. Even though I'm sure you've seen every episode of Friends approximately 1,000 times, it will definitely put your mind at ease as you escape into the world of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Joey as they grow together as friends and people in New York City.
15. 'Workin' Moms'
Workin' Moms is another hilarious Canadian sitcom that shows the challenges of being working mothers. A glimpse into your future perhaps? Maybe it will be a good preparation for you. No matter what though, this show will definitely have you laughing out loud.
16. 'Arrested Development'
The Bluths are everyone's favorite dysfunctional family, and I believe Arrested Development is in most people's favorite re-watch list. Thankfully Season 5 is on Netflix for us to watch again and again.
17. 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'
And for the quirky mom who loves slapstick humor, I bring you Monty Python's Flying Circus. This "surreal" schtick comedy British series from the late '60s and early '70s is lighthearted, satirical, and a little bit dark. Highly recommend as a show to watch to take your mind off of more "pressing" matters. In my opinion, it's kinda like a British version of Saturday Night Live.