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Top Movies and TV Shows to Watch with Your Family

Entertainment

Tue, April 16

One of the best ways to spend time with your family is by watching a TV show or movie together. Sharing the screen, filled with endless laughter, inside jokes, and heartwarming moments, makes for enjoyable and relaxing memories.

However, finding something that appeals to everybody in your family is not easy: very few one-size-fits-all options attract all age and maturity levels. As teenagers, this can be especially hard.

Don't worry—we've got you covered! Here are four TV shows and four movies that have proven to be crowd-pleasers, loved by audiences of all ages. Grab some popcorn and sit tight!

TV Shows:

1. Modern Family

The hit ABC show Modern Family tells the story of three interrelated yet different families (nuclear, blended, and homosexual). It follows their daily lives, capturing universal family conflicts as well as the unique challenges faced by diverse family structures.

With so many characters from different backgrounds, Modern Family is a show everybody can connect to one way or another. The show does a great job of bringing everybody together, and the relatability and warmth of Modern Family make it a must-watch with your families. With 11 seasons, you have plenty of episodes to get through.

2. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Despite the animation style seemingly aimed at younger audiences, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a Nickelodeon show loved by many. The beloved animated series follows Aang, the protagonist, embarking on a journey with his friends Katara, Sokka, and Toph to master the elements and restore balance to the war-torn world in a fictional universe divided into four nations based on the elements—Water, Earth, Fire, and Air.

The heartwarming show touches on themes like friendship and trust, as well as more mature and nuanced topics like war and spirituality, resonating with both young and older audiences. It draws inspiration from Asian mythology and culture, serving as an important representation. It is perfect for families to watch together, as its wholesome nature brings valuable lessons and enjoyment to all.

3. Young Sheldon

Young Sheldon is a spin-off show from The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom that follows the journey of socially awkward but extremely intelligent scientists. In Young Sheldon, we see the protagonist Sheldon's home and childhood, as well as the challenges that come along with his high IQ. We follow his journey of growing up, navigating friendships and educational opportunities.

As hilarious as the show can be, it is also extremely heartfelt. It touches on what it means to be family—to show unconditional love, support, and understanding to each other. Discussing the important themes of acceptance and individuality, it is a show that can be enjoyed by all.

4. Stranger Things

For those who want a family-friendly thriller, Stranger Things is the perfect show to enjoy together. The show follows a tight-knit group of friends on a mystery adventure to the Upside Down, a parallel dimension filled with supernatural entities.

While adults can enjoy the nostalgic, retro feel of the '80s school experience, teenagers can enjoy the combination of the thrilling suspense of the sci-fi adventure and the relatability of the characters' teenage experience. Stranger Things stands out for its blend of genres and captivating plot. Exploring friendship, adventure, and coming-of-age with a touch of science added, this show is perfect for all ages.

Movies:

1. Harry Potter Series

To nobody's surprise, the Harry Potter series has taken the world by storm on multiple accounts. Harry Potter follows a young wizard named Harry Potter's journey to learning magic on a quest to defeat the story's main villain, Voldemort. Offering a seamless blend of innocence, wonder, and danger, there is something for everybody in this film series: the charming boarding school life experience, thrilling battles with complicated magic, and endlessly interesting characters.

With eight movies to watch, families are provided with endless stories filled with themes such as love, friendship, bravery, and loyalty. If you end up loving the series, there are plenty of spin-offs and additional books, and you can even take tests to find out which Hogwarts House you belong to or what wand you would acquire! Prepare to be transported into a new, whimsical world with Harry Potter.

2. Mamma Mia!

Who doesn't love singing their hearts out to a good movie musical? Mamma Mia! is a timeless story about a daughter, Sophie, who secretly contacts men from her mother's (Donna) past and goes on a quest to find her father in time for her wedding. With the touching themes of love and family, breathtaking Greek views, and catchy ABBA tunes, Mamma Mia! is truly a movie musical that all ages can enjoy.

3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

An old but classic film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off never fails to bring a smile to everybody's face. The movie follows a high schooler in the 1980s, Ferris Bueller, on his quest to ditch school, have a blast, and live life to the fullest. Ferris shows what it truly means to explore the world around us and take a good day off, from museums to parades.

For adults, there is nothing not to love about the familiar, enchanting, and iconic high school experience of the '80s. For teenagers, who can often get stressed or overwhelmed, you can take inspiration from Ferris's bold, carefree, yet sometimes rebellious spirit.

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Heartfelt with coming-of-age themes, uniqueness, and individuality, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a movie that those of all ages can appreciate. The story discusses a struggling young teenager, Charlie, on a journey to find his place in the world. He meets friends unexpectedly, creates tight bonds with them, and learns the value of individuality. It shines a light on the importance of mental health, especially in the youth.

The more mature themes of this movie make it valuable for families to watch and can be an opportunity to start important conversations – all while being an enjoyable and interesting movie to share.

Stephanie Ma

Writer since Apr, 2024 · 3 published articles

Steph is a junior from Hong Kong attending The Webb Schools in California and is passionate about musical theater/theater tech, journalism, and music. She is the co-editor of opinion and upcoming editor-in-chief for her school publication, the Webb Canyon Chronicle. In her spare time, she enjoys songwriting, hanging out with friends, and writing.

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