"Harrowing" TV is often some of the most important and brilliant TV. Certainly don't think The Handmaid's Tale is made for voyeurs or sadists.
And there is so much choice, you can always find something lighter. Modern Family is still running. Brooklyn 99. Lots of high quality feel-good TV out there. Parks and Recreation, Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt also all worth seeking out.
I'm watching Mad Men at the moment, serious and thought-provoking drama with very little violence.
Yes, Modern Family is a favourite, and you can't go wrong with a bit of Gardeners World!
Handmaids Tale is scarily excellent. It seems dystopian but actually the reality is similar is happening all around us with human trafficking. I just found both scenes (Paula & HM Tale) of someone being beaten to death really graphic
I haven't watched it yet, am recording it though. I read the book years ago but don't remember much, except that it was brilliant and horrifying.
I like to follow a "serious" programme with one or two episodes of a comedy - I suppose it balances me out mentally or something . So right now it's an episode of Mad Men and then two episodes of Veep or Silicon Valley.
I do get what you mean, though. Some scenes can really play on your mind.