My Sickday TV Playlist

Throughout the length of this pandemic, I don’t think I got sick once. If I did, it was brief and minor. Masks, hand sanitizer, and isolation. Several years ago, before the pandemic, I put together a sickday television playlist — something I could put on, shuffled, to get me through a day of sickness. You see, I have hundreds upon hundreds of DVDs (and an increasing number of Blu-Rays) of movies and television shows. I rip those into a Plex server so that they’re immediately available. Think of it like a video jukebox. Only with the sickday playlist did I start taking advantage of the playlist feature.

My 80s sickday playlist has about a half-dozen different shows. My main criteria is that the shows had to be syndicated in the 80s, and that I probably saw the syndicated episodes on cable when home from school. They also need to be fairly forgettable and entirely self-contained episodes. Things with multi-episode story arcs don’t work well when you are on shuffle. Nor do they work well if you have a fever and are going in and out of sleep while watching. Fortunately, very few shows of the era had anything more than a two-parter pair of episodes. I avoided dramas and mysteries for similar attention-span reasons.

When a show to add occurs to me, I will order the box set of DVDs and load them into the Plex. The current catalog on the sick-day playlist is:

  • I Love Lucy
  • The Addams Family
  • Gilligan’s Island
  • The Monkees
  • Batman
  • Knight Rider
  • Lost in Space

My one problem with this setup is that I have far more I Love Lucy episodes than any other show. Because of the way the randomness works in the playlist, I am more likely than anything to get one of those shows. What I’d really like is a randomizer that first picked a show, then picked an episode within that show. That would give me a far greater chance of seeing Batman or Lost in Space rather than yet another Lucy or Knight Rider episode. I may see if I can hack together something like that.

If you were going to add to this playlist, what shows would you pick?

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