Over the years, my mom and I have found a lot of TV shows to watch together. We’ve bonded over anticipating next week’s episode and binged whole seasons over long weekends home from college. There’s something nice about having a show bring us together each night around the TV instead of disappearing to our separate corners of the house after dinner.
Last Tango in Halifax
My mom and I ran across this on Netflix one year when I was home on Thanksgiving break. The show is about two elderly people who were high school sweethearts reconnecting and the drama that results from merging their families, especially between their grown daughters who live very different lives. We quickly watched the one season that was available and continued to binge watch each new season as it made its way to Netflix. It combined our love of British television with family drama narratives.
First of all, who doesn’t love David Tennant? This was a gripping thriller/murder mystery that my mom and I watched the first season over the span of one weekend. The series begins with the murder of a young boy whose body is found on the beach, and follows the investigation and, later, the court trial. We just couldn’t stop watching, no matter how intense it got. Every episode had you thinking a different person was the murderer as so many secrets are brought to light. Again, another great British show that delivered astounding plot twists with every episode. If you and your mom love murder mysteries, David Tennant, and the drama of small British towns, this show is the perfect one to binge together.
My mom and I are currently making our way through this show. We’ve laughed hysterically together, explained references the other person didn’t understand, and look forward to each night we can sit down and watch three or four episodes. Our favorites so far have been season three’s Christmas episode and season four’s Valentine’s Day episode.
How I Met Your Mother
My freshman year of college, one of my roommates introduced me to this show and I returned home only to get my mom hooked on it too. Between Netflix and the random reruns on TV, we have watched a lot of the episodes together. Still to this day, we’ll reference the show and its characters.
This Is Us
Since the full first season made its way to Hulu, I rewatched the series while my mom watched it for the first time. Throughout the couple of weeks it took us to watch it, my mom kept telling me how good a show it is. Now she keeps asking me when season two is going to premiere!
I might have been the last person on the planet to start watching this show. It wasn’t until my dad gave mom five seasons of The Office for Christmas one year that I finally caved and realized that this show is HILARIOUS. We all enjoyed watching it as a family.
After I finished watching this show, I recommended it to my parents for their next binge watch. My mom seemed equally perturbed by how dark it was and enthralled by what would happen next. We continue to reference the show and praise how amazing it was. If you’re looking for a dark, cinematically stunning series, this is the perfect choice.
One Christmas, my dad gave my mom the entire boxset of The West Wing. My mom and I watched all seven seasons together over the span of one summer. While the policy jargon and intellectual jokes went over my middle-school aged head, we shared a love of the fast-paced political arena. The show was more than a 45 minute episode, it was educational, witty, emotional and compelling. As an adult, I went back and watched all seven seasons on my own, actually understanding more this time around. We still reference the show’s poignant moments and inside jokes to this day.
If there’s one thing my family loves, it’s a good British mystery, and the smaller the town, the weirder the inevitable vicar, and the higher the death toll the better. Midsomer Murders comes in an endlessly bingeable package with each episode at 90 minutes and there happens to be about 1.5 million of them. They’re farcical, dry, and farcically improbable, and the bets on who did it get ferocious.
My mom and I watched all six seasons of Downton the summer I graduated from college. I was living at home with my parents, working a job I absolutely hated, and feeling very stuck. Often, the only bright spot in my day was coming home, grabbing the remote, and having a good laugh at Maggie Smith’s curmudgeonly countess. My mom and I don’t agree on much, and we have very different senses of humor. However, the one thing we both love is a good period drama, and spending long nights eating ice cream and persuading each other to stay awake for one more episode is one of my fondest memories of that summer. There’s really nothing like a good romance and quippy British banter to bring a family together.
My mom and I started watching Parenthood the day it premiered because of our love for Lauren Graham from one of our other favorite shows, Gilmore Girls. We fell in love with this family of goofballs who have SO MUCH heart, and watched it together almost every Tuesday until I moved off to college. When I was away, we would call each other and discuss the episode. She would make fun of me when we watched because I cried almost every time. I love Amber and Sarah’s relationship because parts of it remind me of me and her, and I will always think of my mom when I watch this show.
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