There is a place in everyone’s life for mindless entertainment: things with which to amuse and delight your brain when it can’t handle anything more mentally taxing. But whereas mindfulness is always the same: complex, developing characters, plot twists, emotional range (yawn), there are many different ways to achieve mindlessness. Most shows take the easy route: if there is no “there” there, there is nothing to worry your mind about — just react to what’s in front of your eyes without worrying what came before or what will come after, football in the groin-style.
As you could have guessed from the thumbs up emoji in the title, The Mandalorian does it the hard way. It counts on the viewers' familiarity with Star Wars and western movie tropes to do the mental work in the background without taxing the frontal cortex. There is a before and an after, but you’ve seen the before and can guess the after so you can focus on the here and the now of blasters firing away and villains monologuing themselves into a stalemate. Familiar but fresh, just what the brain needs after dealing with the stale strangeness of the last year.