Ever find yourself going through Netflix trying to discover a good show that you can watch with your family? Maybe you’ll start one, but it won’t really catch with everyone in your family. You’ll ultimately move on to another show, which someone else doesn’t like. The cycle could go on for hours. It can be tough nowadays, especially given the popularity of gritty crime and political shows. These shows are just about everywhere and nearly unavoidable. While these shows are definitely entertaining, they aren’t exactly the best to watch with your family. It gets even more complicated if the show isn’t ‘deep’ enough for the adults.
Here are some great TV shows that perfectly balance subject complexity with family-friendly entertainment. These shows also teach a few great life lessons in between laughs, poignant moments, and action scenes.
If you’re not already a fan, Adventure Time is touted as one of the best animated series to date. The two main characters are Finn, the last human boy, and Jake, a shape-shifting dog who’s also his adoptive brother. What makes the great isn’t just the gorgeous art, cute humor, & compelling storylines. The show very subtly explores important themes and messages.
One of the main recurring themes is the post-apocalyptic nature of the land (called the “Land of Ooo”). The message is both subtle and simple – beauty can still flower despite the destructive nature of nuclear war.
But don’t let the serious undertones put you off. The show is incredibly fun, light, and absolutely perfect for all members of your family.
The Flash is a CW television series, and the most successful DC Comics TV show set in the Arrowverse. The Arrowverse consists DC Comics shows produced by the CW – Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Vixen, & Constantine. The shows cross over each other and share many plot elements, which many fans eagerly eat up. That said, The Flash’s success is primarily due to its much lighter, family-friendly tone, and incredibly satisfying plotlines.
As with Adventure Time, the themes are similarly subtle. This is a refreshing change from the bigger blockbuster superhero films, which can get quite heavy-handed with their culturally relevant themes and socially charged messaging. This show certainly understands its audience and keeps the tone light.
This purer attention to storyline and cheeky humor, makes this show simply fun to watch. And it’s that fun that draws families like yours. On top of that, Netflix and the CW have recently signed a deal that would allow all of their Arrowverse shows to be streamed on Netflix! Definitely watch out for that.
Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation is a political rockumentary-style comedy, reminiscent of The Office. Though it has drawn some critical comparisons, the show has its voice and stands on its own legs. As noted, it is political, but unlike House of Cards, it approaches topics with incredibly well executed humor. Sometimes, it relays its message much more effectively, too.
The show also tackles some moderately adult subjects (like alcohol use, for example). In addition, the show is rated PG, so a bit of vetting could be in order before enjoying it with children. Still, give it a go, especially if you need to show your daughter more powerful women on TV. One of the best things about this show is Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope. Her performance as an intelligent and driven woman, makes for a fantastic role model for women everywhere.
Parks and Rec is one of the best, funniest, well-written shows you can watch with your family, without a doubt.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
What else can be said about Star Trek: The Next Generation? Critically speaking, this show is the best Star Trek series that has ever been made, and is often regarded as one of the best science fiction shows of all time. It’s certainly the purest in regards to creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision, and stays true to the optimistic, utopian ideals he holds about the human race’s future.
The show’s humanist themes explore subject matter such as enlightenment, cooperation, diplomacy, and altruism. Most of these themes and subjects are very philosophically minded. There is great depth to the philosophies presented by the series, and should definitely be considered, despite its age (the show first aired in 1987!) If you’re looking to instill some incredibly poignant and powerful life lessons, look no further than introducing this show to your family.
Live long and Netflix!