I remember having the ‘depressing entertainment’ conversation with some of my brothers years ago, when Saving Private Ryan came out at the cinema. I told them I had seen it and enjoyed it, but they said they couldn’t imagine choosing to see something like that for entertainment (especially as there was a lot of publicity at the time over the graphic battle scene towards the start).
I guess it comes down to what you’re looking for from a movie or TV show. And for me, that changes with my mood. There are definitely times when the last thing I want is something serious or challenging - sometimes you just want something fun or easy, something for pure entertainment.
But there are also times when you might find yourself in the mood for something ‘difficult’, something that challenges you or makes you feel uncomfortable but justifies itself in doing so. And some of those films and tv shows have ended up being the most rewarding and worthwhile, for me.