Put these entertaining family-friendly shows on your watch list this summer.
What's more elusive than a single show everyone in your whole family can enjoy together? I'm not sure. Each of these shows has been a hit with our family of six while receiving plenty of excellent reviews from viewers all over the world, and are available for streaming right now.
Put the days of aimlessly watching Caillou and Paw Patrol behind you. Here's to finally being able to watch television together as a family (and actually enjoy it)!
14 television shows your whole family will love:
This fish-out-of-water comedy follows Ted Lasso, an American college football coach, as he takes over the head coaching job at an English soccer team. Ted's optimism and folksy charm shape the show and lessons learned by his team, but we really love Ted Lasso for how it models healthy communication and relationship dynamics, especially among the male characters. There's no snark or machismo when Ted and his best friend, Coach Beard, sit down to talk about their professional and personal woes—just empathy and support.
After winning a scholarship competition, four highly talented orphans join the rather odd Mr. Benedict on a dangerous mission to save the world from The Emergency. Based on the popular book series of the same name by Trenton Lee Stewart, the Disney Plus series is super entertaining and stylishly presented, filled with great characters (headlined by Tony Hale in dual roles as Mr. Benedict and his twin brother, Dr. Curtain). Can these 4 kiddos save the world? We'll see!
This series, available on HBO Max, explores big experiences that make kids go wow! We love that kids can learn science and technology while being inspired to create DIY projects and crafts at home.
It's bittersweet to watch the past episodes of Jeopardy available on Netflix but Alex Trebek's legacy lives on in one of the most watchable family game shows of all time. Kids might shout out a single correct answer per episode but that doesn't slow them down. Expect enthralled viewing, even from elementary-aged students.
From missing turtles to sabotaged dance recitals, this squad of little detectives solves big cases. InBESTigators is a fast-paced Australian mystery series featuring 10- and 11-year-old crime fighters, with the same energy as Enola Holmes and an astounding 100% likeability rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Available on Netflix.
If you've already plowed through Nailed It, Sugar Rush and The Great British Baking Show (all streaming on Netflix), try this refreshing take on a "cookery show" with an unlikely expert at the helm. James May is the host of the UK's wildly popular car series, The Grand Tour. Despite claiming that he "can't cook," May brings a steady if foppish hand to the kitchen, pointing out interesting facts—some historical, some scientific—along the way. All while huffing and puffing just enough about the behind-the-scenes silliness that is making a TV show. Available on Amazon Prime.
In this race against time competition available on Netflix, team members must navigate rooms flooded with "lava" by leaping from chairs, hanging from curtains and swinging from chandeliers. It's an intense ride that my whole family loves, though please note: you may all find yourself yelling a the screen as the game progresses. Netflix has promised viewers that a season two of The Floor is Lava will arrive sometime in 2022.
A cross between The Amazing Race and The Westminster Dog Show, this is reality TV at its family best. Every competing team is half dog, half besotted human. Competitions take place in incredible locales (Mexico City, Costa Rica, Los Angeles and more), but what's most mesmerizing about this series is how loved the pets are. These dogs are literally men and women's best friends. And all that teamwork could mean big bucks. The top prize is an incredible $750,000, of which $250,000 goes to the winner's favorite animal charity. Available on Amazon Prime.
Is he a real psychic or just keenly observant? In the tradition of every light-hearted mystery series from Moonlighting to NCIS, you get plenty of funny banter between the main characters alongside a crime being solved in one tidy episode. Occasionally you'll hear an ever-so-slightly racy comment but most topics are entirely family-friendly. Available on Amazon Prime.
To call this series reboot "more than a makeover" is like referring to the ocean as a little wet. In each episode, five incredibly talented men swarm into one deserving man or woman's life, uplifting them—and by association everyone in their orbit—in every possible way. Self-esteem, healing old hurts, and yes, flashy new furniture, hair and clothes. It's all included, every time. To see a complete transformation inside and out? That's a thing of beauty. Available on Netflix.
This wholesome series is based on the book of the same name where tweens experiment with recipes that have magical consequences on everyone around them. It's a mystery series that's just entertaining enough for adults to enjoy alongside kids of any age. One thing parents rave about is seeing respectful kids onscreen, bucking the trend of sassy littles backtalking their way through each episode. But it's the sweet moments where kids grow personally that make the series so fun to watch all the way through. Available on Amazon Prime.
In the tradition of home improvement shows like Fixer Upper (HGTV), Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (Netflix) and Stay Here (Netflix), Instant Hotel is an Australian-based reality show where homeowners compete to claim the title of best short-term rental. But there's a twist: contestants stay in each other's rental properties throughout the series where their scores combine with the show's two judges'. Filled with great characters (and gorgeous Australian scenery), it's the snarkiest of all our recommendations but still firmly family-friendly. Available on Netflix.
Starting with the sad premise of children who've lost their parents, this series starring Neil Patrick Harris might be best for kids of about eight and up. Fantastical effects are just spooky enough to thrill without any actual violence. But in the end, it's resilient kids who stick together and save each other, that brings this beloved book series to life on the small screen. With three seasons and tons of surprising cameo performances along the way, the entire family will love the adventurous tale of the Baudelaire orphans. Available on Netflix.
In this engaging series that blends mystery and time travel, Griffin and his family move to the mysterious Tremont Hotel, despite the fact that the entire town of Sulphur Springs believes The Tremont is haunted by the ghost of a girl named Savannah. We soon find out that Griffin's dad knew Savannah when he was a boy, and that's when the mystery really begins.
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