parks and recreation

parks and recreation

The other day, I was chatting on the phone with Gaby Grossman, an editorial director at New York Magazine, and I mentioned that I had just started watching The Bear.

Surprised, she asked me why I hadn’t watched it sooner — after all, it was a cultural phenomenon with long ripple effects, and a third season comes out this June. My reasoning? Our divorce process last year was so stressful, my brain always felt like a scribble. The last thing I wanted at the end of a long day was a show about people having long days. During 2023, I could tolerate only the most lighthearted TV.

“Oh, yes, my mom’s favorite genre is what she calls ‘Bunny Rabbit shows,'” says Gaby, laughing. “Fran Grossman is an anxious lady, and when the world feels intense, she’s looking to relax.”

What qualifies as Bunny Rabbit viewing? Nothing with suspense or violence; instead, go for pick-me-ups. “She’s a big fan of Property Brothers,” says Gaby. “She loves a Gilmore Girls, a Fixer Upper, a Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Girls5eva would definitely qualify, Parks and Recreation, anything from the Pixar universe, Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron, but not Heartburn! Not the more serious!”

How great is Fran’s term? I mean, who among us hasn’t come home from a scary movie and needed a Seinfeld palate cleanser before bed? I tell this to Gaby, who replies: “Yes! Like, after Requiem for a Dream, give me ten ccs of a Bunny Rabbit movie, STAT.”

In case any directors are reading, Fran even came up with her own Bunny Rabbit movie idea: “The film she’s pitched to my brother and me many times is called ‘Bunny Rabbits Go to the Beach,'” explains Gaby. “In the movie, actual bunny rabbits go to the beach, and the big drama is that a big wave comes, but the bunnies just get a little wet.”

Laughing over the phone, I thank Gaby for sharing her mom’s approach. “Happy to help,” she says. “The Bunny Rabbit gospel is all we want to spread in these times.”

What are your Bunny Rabbit shows? And when do you employ them? I would love to hear…

P.S. A podcast that made me laugh in Trader Joe’s, and what comedy scenes do you love?