Call it a moral panic or whatnot, but it’s virtually indisputable that a lot of viewing on television these days is inappropriate for the whole family. Some things are just boring and out-of-reach for young kids, other programs promote quite dubious messages you’d rather your children not hear.
So what can you do? You can’t just watch cartoons all day. Here are five great TV shows that your whole family can enjoy:
“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”
Friday Night Lights is one of those shows where critical acclaim is equally matched with a robust fan base. The show is beloved for its realistic portrayal of life in the small, fictional town of Dillon, Texas and how it thoughtfully addresses themes such as family, marriage, friendship, community, and of course, American football. Friday Night Lights is best watched late at night, snuggled on the couch with a box of tissues in hand. 76 episodes later, you’ll be raving about it to your friends in no time.
“If nautical nonsense be something you wish”
Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish! Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants is the ideal TV show for young and old. SpongeBob follows the life of sea sponge SpongeBob in his daily adventures and interactions with friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks (a starfish and squirrel respectively), neighbour Squidward Tentacles (an octopus), and boss Mr. Krabs (a crab). There’s never a dull moment in SpongeBob’s town of Bikini Bottom and you can be sure that your whole family will have a dandy old time with every single episode of this cartoon.
“That was disgusting! Disgustingly good!”
Originating as a BBC TV cooking show, MasterChef became a national phenomenon in Australia, peaking at 4.11 million viewers for its first series finale, or in other words, around 20 per cent of the whole population! Part of MasterChef’s success lay in the fact that it could be enjoyed by the whole family, as viewers watch distressed contestants running around the set kitchen and frantically plating up their dishes at the last moment before moments of trepidation before the judges. What’s more, the show also conveys many healthy eating messages to kids!
“The world is waiting… GO!”
If your family, like many, is just drawn to reality TV and your kids can’t bear the thought of watching documentaries, The Amazing Race is your solution. The reality TV game show is built on a simple concept: teams of two, who have a pre-existing relationship of some kind or another, race around the world in competition with other teams, completing tasks and trying to stay in the game to ultimately win the grand prize. Sure there’s squabbling, backstabbing, and other nasty behaviour, but there are also wonderful moments of teamwork, determination, and sacrifice that make it solid, family watching. We guarantee that you’ll learn lots about the world too!
“Where you lead, I will follow”
American comedy-drama series Gilmore Girls tells of a mother-daughter pair, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, residents of the sleepy, close-knit town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. In the course of 7 seasons and 153 episodes, you will watch Rory develop from a sweet, well-mannered high school student to a sophisticated, independent college graduate under the watchful eye of Lorelai, who faces her own grown-up challenges and struggles. The best part is their relationship, which only strengthens despite testing as the series progresses. This is definitely a family and a show for the whole family to fall in love with.
Jacqueline Lee is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in sitting down and watching some good TV with her family. She frequently heads to http://www.crusaders.edu.au/ for their great family holiday options.