Entertainment is often considered synonymous with frivolity and distraction, which may very well be what many people are craving right now; remember a few short days ago, when we were all waiting for the election to just be over so we could return to our normal lives? There’s certainly something to be said for escapism during stressful times, and entertainment can most certainly provide that. But it’s a temporary fix. Sooner or later, we have to engage with reality.

Entertainment can help there, too.

At its best — or sometimes even its just-okay — entertainment can broaden our view of the world. It can expose us to realities and experiences far removed from our own, or offer a new perspective on what we think we already know. We just have to let it. We have to make an effort to reject the assumption that entertainment should provide comfort first and foremost, should soothe our troubled souls by parroting our own beliefs and tastes back at us.