From the youngest to the oldest member of the family, we’ve all done it; binge watching seems to be the new national pastime. And while you shouldn’t let the kids get too idle with their free time, sometimes it’s just wholesome and cute to cuddle up with the whole family under a blanket and enjoy a string of episodes from your favorite show.
Sadly, the nature of binge-watching means that very few shows last more than a couple of sessions, and there’s only so many times you can rewatch Stranger Things while you wait for the third season. So we’re here to help you out. These are some of the best family-friendly TV shows of all time, and you can binge watch to your heart’s content without having to worry about something too racy popping up unexpectedly on the screen.
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Netflix
This recently finalized adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s classic books for children is marvelous. You’ll find humour, quirky characters and situations, witty dialogue, and much more, but nothing that borders on adult or racy content at all, making it a great family friendly Netflix original. The show successfully adapts all 13 books that comprise this beloved children-oriented saga. It follows the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, who go through the loss of their parents and the destruction of their home before going on a series of adventures that includes secret societies, their many eccentric relatives, monster mysteries, and the villainous Count Olaf, played by Neil Patrick Harris.
Kim’s Convenience – Netflix
A comedy that the whole family can enjoy, Kim’s Convenience follows the Korean-Canadian Kim family and the struggles they face daily while running their convenience store in the Moss Park neighborhood, along with their many friends and co-workers. Most of the comedic situations arise from the main characters’ status as migrants and the hardships that come when mixing family interactions with a shared business. The dialogue is smart enough and the show makes an effort to be funny and biting without ignoring nor pressing too much on the portrayal of minorities, but some may find it too dignified to really pull off the big laughs. Either way, it’s an excellent show to get cozy with the family in the living room and binge watch.
Salt Fat Acid Heat – Netflix
Is there any other TV genre more wholesome and family-friendly than cooking shows? Because Salt Fat Acid Heat is raising the bar really high. Host and chef Samin NosratIna Garten guides us through this charming documentary series based on her 2017 book of the same name, where she proposes that the basic elements for any successful dish are only four: Salt, fat, acid, and (can you guess?) heat. Each installment focuses on one of these four elements, making it only four episodes long, which might also be the perfect length to binge-watch with the family without feeling like a cave troll who’s never seen the sunshine after you’re done.
Mythbusters – Hulu
This classic Discovery Channel series focuses on testing out and potentially “busting” different urban myths and legends through a series of explosions, special effects elbow grease, family-friendly banter, and the scientific method. In other words, it’s perfect for both kids and adults, and you might end up learning something new to boot. The 19 seasons of episodes means you won’t run out of binge-watching sessions for a while, and while some episodes can deal with some more adult-oriented myths, you can just read the synopsis and skip any objectionable installments.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix
If you’re looking for something to watch with the family, but your kids are a little older now, then you can try watching this sitcom written by Tina Fey. Originally created to be broadcast on NBC, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s first season had to approach its dark premise in a PG way, but the show’s creators decided to keep that tone even after the show was picked up by Netflix. The cast of characters is quirky and much of the comedy is screwball, but there are a select few occasions when the series pushes the boundaries of what’s appropriate, but the show never gets graphic, and if you’re watching with teens, there’ll be little need for guidance.
Worried that you don’t have enough time to spend a couple of afternoons a month watching shows with the kids? It might be time to call the professionals and let them sort out some of your chores, particularly the most time-consuming ones, such as cleaning. The whole family will be happy about it!