Wednesday 17 March 2021

11 Boxsets to Watch with Your Teenagers

11 recommendations of boxsets you can stream in the UK that are fun for parents to watch with their teenage children
Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

As the children all go back to school and restrictions are starting to ease I'm sure that those of us with teenagers will start to see a lot less of them at home. That seems like a real shame, as we've developed a special closeness over the lockdown periods and as such I'm keen to still spend time with my teens just relaxing and at home.

With that in mind, I thought I'd compile a list of great boxsets that you can happily watch with your teens. I've put the official age guidance next to each one and of course, you as the parent can choose if the program is suitable for your child or not. I have to admit I'm not particularly strict on these age restrictions when we are watching something together as even the most challenging of topics can be a great in-road to a tricky conversation. 

Cobra Kai - Netflix - 15

It was one of my daughters who introduced me to this as I hadn't even heard of the series but as someone who adored the original Karate Kid film, it was always going to be a real hit with me. I love the way this appeals to teens and adults alike as it focuses on both age groups. Basically, you roll forward 34 years and Daniel (son) is a married successful businessman who uses his love of karate as a gimmick in his car sales business. Then we see his old arch-enemy Johnny who is a bit of a loser and ends up reopening a dojo. Of course, the two styles of karate come to war again. It's fabulous, have a watch!

Vicar of Dibley - NOW TV - 13 (suggested by Common Sense Media)

This is an old classic. I do love Dawn French and I think she portrays the boisterous and lovable Vicar Geraldine so well. As a Christian family, I think we enjoy seeing the church references but the show is definitely fun for every Brit who has lived in a small village or finds old-school British stereotyping quite comical. It's a super easy watch and you'll find yourself wanting to know how the characters lives pan out.

Little Fires Everywhere - Amazon Prime - 15

This is another show that has the dual storyline of mother and (in this case) daughter. Based on the best selling book by Celeste Ng, this is such an interesting watch and you'll probably find yourself wanting to binge-watch. It's great for breaking down stereotypes and assumptions that those who have it all must be the most sorted and happiest - not so! You'll follow the picture-perfect Richardson family's lives intertwine with the nomadic artist mother and her daughter.

Queer Eye - Netflix - 12

This is such a fun makeover show with five gay guys who specialise in making over different areas of peoples lives - their home, grooming, fashion, food and drink and culture. What is so great is seeing the human aspect of this show, the toughest people can have their perceptions broken and you visibly watch peoples self-esteem and kindness grow. It really is full of all the feels. 

The Good Doctor - NOW TV - 15/18

This is such a clever show, about Dr Shaun Murphy, a young surgical resident who is autistic and has exceptional abilities in regards to memory and recall. I love seeing visually how his mind works and he can figure out even the most complex medical problems. Then also at the same time, we get to know Shaun as a person and encounter the difficulties of relationships for someone with autism.

Gilmore Girls - Netflix - 12

Gilmore Girls is such an easy watch and with 7 seasons and the follow-up Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which is 4 feature-length episodes, you'll be watching for ages! It's a delightful show about single mom Lorelei and her intelligent daughter Rory. It focuses on their relationship and friendship and the show grows with them. It is very sweet and you get to meet all sorts of odd characters who live in the charming small town of Stars Hollow. 

One Day at a Time - Netflix - 12

This was recommended to me by a friend a few years back as a light and easy watch for me and she was right, but I soon realised how much fun my girls would find it as well. The sitcom is based around a crazy Latino single mom who lives with her two children and her bonkers mother Lydia who is very straight-talking. You meet other characters like their neighbour Schneider but the majority of the show is set in their home and it is pure comedy gold. 

Alex Rider - Amazon Prime 12

I remember my son reading all the Anthony Horowitz books years back, so when I saw this boxset come on Prime I had a look and it is so good. Alex is just an ordinary teenager when he gets recruited by MI6 and develops a whole ton of skills he had no idea he had! I like the fact this is British based and it is so easy to watch, a real wholesome show, he's like a less sophisticated teenage James Bond!

13 Reasons Why - Netflix - 18

This is a show I haven't yet watched with my girls, but I want to as I think the topics it raises are so important to discuss. When it first released in 2017, I asked my 13-year-old son not to watch it as I felt it was too gratuitous. I now release with my girls that I'd rather they watch it with me, than alone. That way we can discuss what we see. I know at least one of them has already had a friend who has threatened suicide, so we have had some discussions on this topic. I do think the show allows for conversations about suicide, inclusivity, blame, rape, racism and so much more. 

The Society - Netflix - 15

With only one season of this, it is an easy one to get through and a really interesting premise. When a group of teens return early from a field trip they find their town deserted and surrounded by a dense forest. After the disappearance of their parents and all the other townsfolk they are left with no other option but to form their own rules and society to survive. There are lots of ups and downs. 

All about the Washingtons - Netflix - PG

Hilarious, All about the Washingtons is such a fun and easy watch. If you're having a bad day I find this show won't fail to brighten it and make you smile. There is currently only one season and each episode is under 30 minutes. It follows the Washington family when dad Joey, decides to stand back from his Hip-Hop career and this makes space for mum Justine to follow her dream of becoming a billionaire entrepreneur. 

Here are a few more shows that I haven't watched yet but my teens tell me they're friends are all watching them and chances are their parents would like them too -

  • Ginny & Georgia - Netflix - 15
  • Superstore - Netflix - 12
  • Modern Family - Netflix - 12
  • Bridgerton - Netflix - 15
  • Atypical - Netflix - 15
  • Sister, Sister - Netflix - PG
  • Derry Girls - Channel 4/ Netflix - 15
  • The Queens Gambit - Netflix - 15
  • The Good Place - Netflix - 15
  • This is Us - Amazon Prime - 12
  • Sex Education - Netflix - 18

It was quite interesting to see that the majority of boxsets we've picked here are showing on Netflix. From this I'd say if you just want to subscribe to one entertainment streaming service each month then Netflix is probably the best bet if you have teenagers. Although of course, you get tons of benefits if you buy Amazon Prime. 

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11 recommendations of boxsets you can stream in the UK that are fun for parents to watch with their teenage children

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