Navigating grief is always a difficult journey, but watching it play out on TV can sometimes be both therapeutic and educational. By watching TV shows about grief and the different ways characters in television shows cope with loss and navigate through their own experiences of grief, viewers gain empathy for each other’s struggles and find comfort in the shared feelings of pain and confusion. Seeing how your favorite characters handle the challenges posed by bereavement can provide comfort as well as realistic coping strategies to help you work through your own unique grief journey.
From comedies that illustrate through humor what it means to move forward past tragedy to dramas that present an earnest, heartfelt account of mourning and healing, all mediums offer interesting perspectives on the multifaceted nature of dealing with loss. In this article, we will explore some of the best TV shows about grief and how they can help people navigate their own journey of loss.
Best TV Shows About Grief in Our Opinion
Shrinking is an intriguing American TV series that dives into the world of grief. Created by Brett Goldstein, Bill Lawrence, and Jason Segel, the show follows Jimmy, a grieving therapist who ignores his professional ethics and begins giving his clients brutally honest advice. Through this unconventional approach, Jimmy is able to work through his own pain while subtly helping others. As he struggles with his loss, he needs to find a way back into the light while maintaining his roles as dad, friend, and therapist.
Premiering on Apple TV+ in 2023, audiences can get lost in Jimmy’s story while being exposed to real-life conversations about grief. With great comedy woven into the narrative and serious moments at its core, Shrinking is one of the best examples of a show that tackles grief honestly and sensitively, making it a must-watch for those looking for meaningful drama. Can brutal honesty help him heal, or will it only cause further distress? Tune in to Shrinking to find out.
2) After Life
After Life is a critically acclaimed British black comedy-drama created by Ricky Gervais and the only series he’s starred in for three seasons. It tells the story of Tony Johnson, whose perfect life falls apart when he loses his wife, Lisa, to a terminal illness. Rather than take his own life, Tony decides to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes, believing that it will leave him feeling empowered. This idea backfires when his friends and family attempt to save the nice guy they used to know.
Seasoned with witty dialogue and dark humor, Gervais’ performance anchors this amusing yet thought-provoking series. Ricky Gervais, Golden Globe Winner, plays Tony in this powerful series that premiered on Netflix on 8 March 2019 and continues with its third and final season being dropped on 14 January 2022. If you’re looking for a series that will make you laugh and cry, After Life is the perfect pick.
3) Sorry For Your Loss
Sorry for Your Loss, the American drama series created by Kit Steinkellner and released on Facebook Watch in 2018, follows Leigh Shaw’s (played by Elizabeth Olsen) life as it unravels after her husband’s sudden death. Along with Leigh, viewers follow Kelly Marie Tran, Jovan Adepo, Mamoudou Athie, and Janet McTeer as they struggle to cope with the aftermath of this tragedy. Along her journey, she discovers there were many aspects of his life that Leigh never knew.
Accompanied by her sister (Kelly Marie Tran), mother (Janet McTeer), and brother-in-law (Mamoudou Athie), Leigh faces the challenge of continuing on without the one person who always stood by her side. This TV show about life after death was renewed for a second season in December 2018, premiering in October 2019. By processing her grief through her unyielding drive to uncover her late husband’s secrets, Leigh embarks on a journey of self-discovery with love, loss, and growth.
One of the most popular and talked-about series in 2021 was Marvel’s WandaVision, which stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision. The show follows Wanda and Vision through a series of 1950s-style sitcom episodes as they attempt to hide their true identities while living together in a newly created suburban world. As the series progresses, we are shown glimpses of their past and stories surrounding Wanda’s grief as she struggles with her newfound powers. This makes for an emotionally captivating show that appeals to Marvel fans and those looking for something different.
WandaVision features excellent performances from Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, giving audiences an exciting and unique take on the classic Marvel theme of grief. This series will leave viewers with a sense of emotion, understanding, and appreciation for those who have gone through insurmountable loss.
5) Not Dead Yet
Not Dead Yet is an American television sitcom created by David Windsor and Casey Johnson that premiered on February 8, 2023. Nell Serrano is the main protagonist, a broke and newly single self-described disaster who’s determined to restart her life and career. After landing the only job she can find writing obituaries, she begins receiving life advice from a surprising source. With deadpan wit, lovable characters, and a well-crafted narrative, Not Dead Yet is sure to provide plenty of laughs for viewers.
The series explores themes of loss, loneliness, and the power of friendship as Nell navigates the uncharted waters of being single again. Not Dead Yet focuses on how loss can catalyze growth and encourages viewers to make peace with the past and enjoy life in the present. With its fresh perspective, hilarious storylines, and positive message, Not Dead Yet will surely make audiences laugh and cry.
Fleabag is an unapologetically raw and hilarious British comedy-drama that takes a realistic approach to life and love in London. Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as the titular character—an irreverent, witty woman trying to cope with tragedy while rebuffing any attempts at help. The show, created and written by Waller-Bridge based on her one-woman show debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is produced by Two Brothers Pictures for BBC Three in collaboration with Amazon Studios.
Fleabag will set you laughing, cringing, and crying as you follow her turbulent journey to finally finding peace of mind. The show has been praised for its nuanced handling of grief and loss and its willingness to explore the darkness behind the protagonist’s seemingly carefree facade. It is often noted that Fleabag is a profound exploration of trauma, healing, and self-discovery in the midst of pain and despair. With its gutsy humor and stark honesty, Fleabag is sure to leave audiences thinking and feeling inspired.
7) Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age story created by Mindy Kaling that follows the life of a contemporary Indian American high schooler, Devi. A series of unfortunate events turn her world upside down and leave her struggling with grief, depression, and a whole lot of teenage angst. This show reveals Devi’s path to recovery and her self-discovery journey. The series features strong performances from its lead cast, including Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, as well as a humorous script that captures the spirit of adolescence.
Never Have I Ever is a heartwarming and endearing show that offers an honest look at the struggles of high schoolers and how they can come out stronger in the end. It encourages viewers to take ownership of their own stories, no matter how hard life gets and offers a refreshingly honest portrayal of grief and depression in its characters. With its lovable characters and impactful story, Never Have I Ever will inspire audiences.
8) From Scratch
From Scratch is a heart-warming Netflix drama series created by Attica and Tembi Locke, starring Zoe Saldaña and Eugenio Mastrandrea. The story follows Amy Wheeler, an American student studying in Italy who falls for Sicilian chef Lino. As their relationship deepens, unforeseen health issues stand to jeopardize their future. Reaching out for help from both sides of the family, the two families face their differences and help each other find solutions together.
From Scratch gives audiences an intimate look at navigating culture clashes, familial struggles, and the power of love to overcome all odds. Its heartfelt story and powerful performances will leave audiences feeling hopeful and inspired to make their own love stories. With its honest portrayal of family dynamics, From Scratch is sure to be a must-watch series that has debuted in 2022.
9) Dear Edward
Dear Edward is a story of hope and resilience, graciously brought to life by Apple TV+. Developed by Jason Katims and based on Ann Napolitano’s novel, the drama series revolves around Edward Adler – a young boy miraculously surviving a devastating plane crash that kills all other passengers, including his own family. In the aftermath of tragedy, Edward finds comfort and solidarity among fellow survivors of lost passangers, forging heartfelt connections and discovering newfound strength within himself. After all, is said and done, Dear Edward poignantly teaches us all that no matter how crushed our spirit may be – it can never be broken. With its touching script and inspiring performances, Dear Edward will undoubtedly leave viewers feeling inspired and hopeful.
10) Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a magical NBC musical comedy-drama series created by Austin Winsberg. It follows the story of Zoey Clarke, a tech coder with a unique ability to hear people’s innermost thoughts and emotions through elaborate song and dance numbers. Throughout the show, Zoey learns more about herself and her relationships while coming to terms with the aftermath of a tragedy that has left her family reeling. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist will inspire and uplift viewers with its charming characters, catchy musical numbers, and poignant story. The show offers an honest exploration of grief and growth in the face of adversity – a message of hope that will resonate with viewers.
How TV Shows Help Us Reclaim Our Stories
The stories we tell and consume have never been so important in today’s world. TV shows can offer us comfort, understanding, and insight into our lives and experiences. Through powerful messages of hope, resilience, and self-discovery, they help us reclaim our stories. Whether it’s a comedy, drama, or musical show, TV shows allow us to explore our emotions and identities in new ways.
With their entertaining stories, captivating characters, and stimulating messages – we can learn more about ourselves and the world around us. We can find empowerment in our own stories and ultimately discover that no matter how hard life gets – it can never break our spirit. TV shows have the potential to help us reframe our life narratives and, in turn, give us the courage to face whatever comes our way. So, if you’re ever feeling down or looking for inspiration – remember that television can be so much more than just entertainment. It’s a powerful tool we can use to reclaim our stories.
TV shows about grief and death help us not feel alone
As everyone has their own stories to tell, everyone can relate to the power of a good TV show. Whether it’s about love, family, or self-discovery, these shows offer us comfort and courage in our own lives. Scratch, Dear Edward, and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist are just some examples of how television can help us reclaim our stories. With their emotional storylines, meaningful messages, and captivating performances – these shows can remind us of our own strength and resilience in the face of adversity. So take a break and give yourself some much-needed self-care by watching a show that inspires and uplifts you. Remember – there’s always something we can learn from stories around us.
So here’s to reclaim our stories and find the courage to face whatever life throws our way!