10 shows parents and teens will love watching together



Watching TV with your teens has all kinds of pitfalls: out-of-the-blue raunchy sex scenes, a surprise bloodbath (“Game of Thrones,” anyone?), and other awkward moments you never wanted to share with your kids. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to get them in the room! But the right shows can bring families together.

Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, part of the fun of raising teens is that they have the ability to think deeply about issues, with strong opinions that are easier to share when they’re talking about TV and not their own lives. You can use the following teen-friendly shows as a launchpad for conversations you might not otherwise be able to have. And your kids might, just might, think you’re cool for a brief, wonderful moment.

—“Amazing Race,” CBS

Competitions and game shows are great for parents and teens to watch together; they’re engrossing, dramatic, and thoroughly entertaining. This one can inspire chats about teamwork, perseverance, and even culture clashes.

—“Angie Tribeca,” TBS

If you loved “Airplane!” and its broad comedy stylings, you might want to make this ridiculous detective show filled with funny — and sometimes groan-worthy — gags part of your parent/teen watching time.

—“black-ish,” ABC

A sitcom that’s appropriate for whole-family viewing, this lovable show is funny, brave, and topical for families of all colors and creeds.

—“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Comedy Central

Your kids may refuse to sit through a local news broadcast (who cares about the weather report?), but the humorous lens this show offers can engage teens and open up conversations about world issues.

—“Freaks and Geeks,” streaming

This early ‘80s-set cult classic is so hilarious your teens might forget that it’s all about how hard it is to be a teenager. No show understands teen angst like this one, and teens will see themselves and their own challenges reflected in a freak, a geek, or both.

—“Jeopardy,” syndicated

Yeah, it’s pretty square. But it can also be a low-key way to test your knowledge against your teens. With its topical, historical, and just-plain-fun trivia questions, it can spark interesting discussions.

—“Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” streaming

Pretty clean and seriously silly, teens who are just developing their grown-up sense of humor will come for the goofy sight gags but stay for the absurd satire.

—“Saturday Night Live,” NBC

The ritual of staying up late to watch “SNL” is a rite of passage for generations of teens. The quality can vary, but that’s part of the fun. You can see what your kids find funny and dissect the more topical sketches and news discussed during the “Weekend Update” segment. (And your teens can tell you who the musical guests are.)

—“Seinfeld,” streaming

Teens are old enough to understand that all the characters on this show about nothing are selfish, rude, and an absolute delight to watch.

—“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” streaming

If your kids are sci-fi fans, this is a wonderful watch-together option. Its futuristic setting allows it to make social commentary on all kinds of issues, including racial discrimination, intergalactic political rivalries, gay rights, and lots more, without being too heavy-handed.

—“Stranger Things,” Netflix

This retro sci-fi mystery is a really fun choice for families with older teens. Not only does it star lots of great kids and teens learning some major lessons about friendship, love, and life, but its plot, featuring creepy government plots, a spooky underworld, and lots of drama, is gripping from start to finish (and just scary enough!).

———

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.


Reader Comments


Next Up in Lifestyles

Kim Fields movie ‘A Question of Faith’ films in Marietta
Kim Fields movie ‘A Question of Faith’ films in Marietta
“A Question of Faith,” about three families living their separate lives until tragedy brings them together, filmed at Turner Chapel AME...
Georgians pay kids nearly double for chores compared to national average
Georgians pay kids nearly double for chores compared to national average
According to a recent study, 68 percent of Americans believe children should get paid for completing their chores.
3 ways to make space in your home for aging parents
3 ways to make space in your home for aging parents
Multigenerational living is bringing families in Atlanta’s intown communities and suburbs closer together, especially as parents move in with...
6 reasons Atlanta adores its botanical gardens
6 reasons Atlanta adores its botanical gardens
Everyone loves a gorgeous hometown tourist attraction and the encore exhibits of Dale Chihuly glass are making the Atlanta Botanical Garden...
Research says fidgeting good for your health
Research says fidgeting good for your health
Finally, science comes to the rescue of those of us who have been told all our lives to “sit still.”Turns out fidgeting can be good for your health.
More Stories

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com.

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.