What to watch when you feel like bawling your fucking eyes out

Television doesn’t make your eyes square, but it can make them leak. Alex Casey explains the phenomenon. 

Hear ye, hear ye, I am the town crier of Sobsonville Point, and I hereby decree that there are too many things on television that maketh me weep. As if the horrors of our melting planet and the sad people lurching around on it weren’t enough to keep my tear ducts in overtime, I’m now finding it harder and harder to watch the telly without clocking on for another unpaid shift at the local waterworks.

Sure, confident listicles will boast that crying alleviates stress, releases toxins, kills bacteria and provides a natural, dewy rouge, but sometimes I just want to watch Lego Masters without having to wrestle with my own mortality, you know? Nonetheless, here are some television moments that, in the immortal words of Ashlee Simpson, make me want to wah wah, in the kitchen, on the floor.

Let’s start with the most recent, and perhaps most upsetting ad ever made.

*Before you send me an aggressive e-card, there are no movies on this list because they are TOO long and there are TOO many and I can’t list them all because I will, ironically, CRY.  

The Spark wedding speech

It’s the ad that has caused people to blub in darkened cinemas across the country, because how else does one prepare for the wonder of Aladdin, or the monumental showdown of Endgame, than with a heavy dose of grief? The latest offering from Spark’s Haus of Tears combines all the winning ingredients to make a dense terrine of emotion. A dead parent, a sad vlog from beyond the grave, all topped off with a motherfucking wedding for your nerves.

To quote one crestfallen Twitter user, “the new Spark ad puts the ad in sad.” And to think, it’s basically all to sell some lovely, lovely internet. Wi fi? More like I Cry.

One Born Every Minute

If you often find yourself pregnant (with emotion and/or actual human life), then One Born Every Minute is the tear-jerker for you. Love a mother howling in agony then weeping silently with joy. Love a blubbering father holding a newborn like it’s an ancient Fabergé egg filled with explosives. LOVE a no-nonsense midwife. With a guaranteed three cries an episode, OBEM is one of the divine secrets of the wah wah sisterhood. Get amongst.

The Lotto pirate ship ad

Buying a huge stupid boat like that is a colossal waste of money, she wept.

Lost and Found

One glance at David Lomas’ resplendent bald head and I start to well up, for he is the shepherd of the soul-stirring reunion, the archangel of restoring ancient bonds. Tracking down long lost family members across the globe, Lost and Found is another show guaranteed to melt your heart. If your eyes don’t prick at the thought of two people stoically reconnecting after 40 years apart on a park with nothing more than a gruff ‘how are ya’ then I truly cannot help you. Go to jail actually.

Hilary Barry cries on the news

As much as it makes me chuckle now to remember the time that New Zealand absolutely lost it over the end of Campbell Live (guilty as charged) like we would never ever ever ever see John Campbell again, this very bad quality rip still kills me every time. It’s so pure, such a professional queen reduced to wobbly chin catchy voice warbles like the rest of us mere mortals. We’re all absolute jelly and I absolutely love it. Here’s an extra for experts.

Denny dies on Grey’s Anatomy

Absolutely ridiculous and absolutely good. God, what I would give to sob in a stupid ballgown and be cradled like a baby by Dr. Alex Karev. I thought this was the saddest thing to ever happen in a hospital, until someone told me about Offspring season four, episode 12.

Anything David Attenborough

Let us find solace in the fact that all the penguins will be dead soon and therefore they cannot feature in anymore Very Sad TV. And the elephants too, of course. And everything else. Any David Attenborough joint is perfect for an almighty wail, both the circle-of-life elements and the end-of-the-world elements providing the unspeakable, paralysing horrors that make a fun night in.

Tim and Dawn finally kiss

Oh, look it’s only the most romantic and most satisfying end to a TV show in the history of ever, no big deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After two seasons of teeth-shattering cringe, the great unanswered question was whether or not colleagues and obvious forever-loves Tim and Dawn would a) ever see each other again and b) get together. How perfect for them to finally kiss, in the very same hellhole that brought them together, to a song sung by the same band that David Brent mistakenly answered as a Blockbusters question in season one. THE LAYERS. I weep for the layers.

Jim and Pam get married

Look, it’s not my fault that both of the Offices rip into the human soul better than some of our most prestigious dramas ffs I don’t make the rules!! Yes, the song is absolutely cancelled but this scene still makes my heart swell like a big greedy love drunk pufferfish. If looks could kill, Jim and Pam grinning and shrugging at each other would send me straight to the crematorium.

The Pet Refuge ad

A rare moment where the tugging at our heartstrings is actually serving a worthy cause and not a big scary corporate or evil gambling agency. Truthfully, I can’t get through it. Donate here.

Any kind of makeover show

Whether it’s Queer Eye or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, there’s nothing like a good makeover scene. Remember Tom Jackson and his on again off again relationship with Abby? Remember godly saint woman Tammye holding Bobby Berk and telling him “it’s OK”? Remember Ty Pennington, the only man with frosted tips that people are actually happy to see?

Dad leaves the Fresh Prince

Truly I am bluer than the genie himself re: this harrowing television moment.

This is Us

I have never watched a second of this show, but by gum does it look glum. With actual real psychologists weighing in on the show’s emotional toll, and the cast sharing photos of themselves crying along with episodes, this seems like a sure fire way to bawl out big time. 

When June gets separated from Hannah

I mean, basically any moment in The Handmaid’s Tale is cause for endless scream-crying, but this one fucked me up big time. To quote a kindred spirit in the Youtube comments, “my heart is crying”. Who would ever separate kids from their parents like that? Oh, wait.


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