Finding TV shows that everyone agrees on and likes can be kind of tricky when you’ve got teenagers. It gets even more complicated if you’ve got tweens and teens, because the same content isn’t always appropriate for the different age ranges.
Being honest, part of the problem just feels like a lack of good quality shows. My husband and I have a hard time finding things even just the two of us want to watch. Everything has gotten so violent or over sexualized or just plain weird. It really is hard to find anything that a whole family is comfortable watching and can enjoy together.
After a little trial and error, we’ve found several that have been universal favorites in our household. They aren’t perfect and depending on your views and values, you smay not find that are all a fit for your family, but at least a few should be winners. If your not sure, feel free to check out their ratings and other info on Common Sense Media.
TV Series Families With Teens and Tweens Can Enjoy Together
The Librarians (HULU)
Adventures of 4 characters with unusual skills and abilities all chosen as “librarians” to protect a cosmic library where magical artifacts are collected and stored. The librarians, along with a special guardian, investigate odd happenings in the mortal realm related to missing/stolen artifacts and other magical creatures who wish to steal the powers of the library and shift the balance between good and evil in the world.
Reimagining of the King Arther stories with all the characters as young adults and told from Merlin’s perspective. A little violent with some scary creatures so maybe not ideal for more sensitive tweens. Also, some romance, but nothing blatant.
The Mandalorian(Disney +)
The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. It follows the adventures and trials of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic. He unwittingly finds himself the guardian of a powerful creature of unknown origin who he now must protect from falling into the wrong hands.
One Day At A Time (Netflix)
A modern version of a TV classic, a newly single Latina mother raises her teen daughter and tween son with the “help” of her old-school mom and the owner of the apartment building they all live in. Funny and sweet, but definitely addresses issues of our time including sexuality, mental health and politics.
Lost In Space(Netflix)
When they are recruited for a special space mission, which is undermined by mysterious circumstances, The Robinson family (estranged parents, two teen girls and a tween boy) crash lands on a mystery planet. The family fights against all odds to survive and escape. But they’re surrounded by hidden dangers.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events(Netflix)
Based on the classic book series, The extraordinary Baudelaire orphans face trials, challenges and the evil Count Olaf in their fateful quest to unlock long-held family secrets. Along the way they meet many quirky characters who both help and hinder their progress. (And it’s Neil Patrick Harris in one of his best roles, that alone makes this series worth watching)
Encore (Disney +)
Kristen Bell(yes, THAT Kristen Bell!) brings together former castmates of a high school musical and has them re-create their original performance. In a high school reunion like no other, emotions run high as the former students face faded friendships, former flames, self-doubt, and killer choreography.
Gortimer Gibbons Life On Normal Street (Amazon Original)
Personal Review: This is one of my all time favorites! Just the right combinations of quirky, sentimental, original and life affirming. It’s true feel good TV with depth and real storytelling, which is rare in today’s entertainment landscape.
Life is anything but normal for Gortimer and his two best friends, Ranger and Mel, as they navigate Normal Street – an ordinary suburb that has a hint of something magical just beneath the surface.
Once Upon A Time(Netflix)
In this fantasy series, a young woman is drawn to a small Maine town and discovers that there is more to her identity that she could have ever imagined. In fact, her story might almost be called a fairytale and the other people in the town her fellow characters….
Star Trek Discovery (CBS All Access)
Ten years before Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one young female vulcan Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.
This series is definitely one of the darker in the franchise. If you’re looking to introduce your kids to some of the earlier series, then try Star Trek: Next Generation on Netflix or perhaps the newly released Piccard(CBS All Access FREE)
Locke and Key (Netflix)
After their dad’s murder, three siblings move with their mom to his ancestral estate, where they discover magical keys that unlock powers — and secrets.
(Note: This show could be a little scary for young tweens)
A family drama series set in the rolling foothills of the Rockies, “Heartland” follows life on the Heartland ranch as Amy Fleming (Amber Marshall), her older sister Lou (Michelle Morgan) and Grandfather Jack (Shaun Johnston) deal with the challenges of running the ranch that has been in their family for generations.
The Crew of a starship travel through outer space after Earth’s resources have diminished in the year 2517. Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds steers his bandit-crew through anything to keep them alive, and keep flying.
Looking for even more ideas, here are other favorite series that were suggested:
The Good Place (Netflix)
Stargate Atlantis (Hulu)
Agents of Shield(Netflix)
When Calls The Heart (Netflix/Hallmark Channel)
The Good Witch (Netflix/Hallmark Channel)
Bonus: While not exactly series, these game shows and other types of entertainment can be good for just a one off watching experience or an occasional family TV night.
Perhaps Watching A TV series is too much of a commitment. In that case, you might also check out these other popular posts for activities you can do with your tweens and teens.