Tween TV You Can Stomach

While this is under the label "For Tweens" it no doubt could also be filed under "For You." The time has ended that we can trust our kids will eat up Disney shows and terribly written and produced live action shows. Both my kids refuse to watch anything with a laugh track. I've tried to explain why some shows have it but honestly... I don't think I understand myself! 

My kids make me watch TV with them. They don't shackle me to the couch or anything, but they plead with me until I give in. My tween doesn't care as much as my 6yo, but they love it when I'm literally just sitting next to them. In all honesty this has historically been my nap time (*between us, dirty little secret). But recently I awoke to find vampires and people swearing and realized I should probably wake the hell up. 

For awhile I decided to go Old School. Nancy Drew was a hit for awhile but the blatant sexism was too much (my tween asked, "Why is [the female victim] just standing there? Why isn't she fighting?]. So then I thought LIttle House on the Prairie would be both entertaining and give us a lot to talk about. But in the first season between multiple deaths, plagues, hard life on the prairie, and realizing it's all very much steeped in religion (nothing against it but it's heavy handed), my Tween took out the DVD and said, "Mommy, I think I'm too young to watch this." 

My mother let me watch Starsky & Hutch, Dukes of Hazard, Dynasty, Three's Company and Knots Landing. If you are too young to know what those are trust me, it was the late '70s/early '80s and the reigns were loose. 

I'm not an expert on TV. I'm a mom. A writer. And a lover of television. And in the name of quality and having to stare at the screen with my kids, I've developed a running list of watchable, sometimes even memorable, shows. In addition, my family watches a movie together on Friday nights, so I have an ever-growing list of acceptable parent-kid movies as well. 

This list starts out at my own tween's age - 9 - and I plan to build on it from here. I'll have a section for TV and one for Movies. Apologies if it skews girls...but it's what I know. And I'm only including shows I've watched with my kids that I can vouch for (though every parent has her/his own feelings on certain subject matter...). Please jump in below and suggest your faves!

TV Shows

1. The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones - Amazon Streaming

2. Cupcake Wars - Amazon Streaming / Netflix. (Maybe it's because my kids love EATING cupcakes but they love this show!)

3. The Flash - Amazon Streaming / Netflix / CW

4. Goosebumps series - Netflix (*may be scary for some kids)

5. Just Add Magic - Amazon Streaming

6. The Sparticle Mystery - Netflix

7. Supergirl - Amazon Streaming / CW


Movies (all available on one or more: Amazon Streaming, Netflix, iTunes)
A Christmas Story
After the Ball
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  
American Girl Doll: Grace Stirs Up Success 
American Girl Doll: McKenna Shoots for the Stars 
Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World (inspiring documentary)
Big Hero Six
The Book of Life 
The Chronicles of Narnia
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs  
Coraline (*a little dark/scary)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1,2&3)
Ella Enchanted (princessy but not overly)
Ernest & Celestine (may skew young but it's adorable.)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Harry Potter We've watched 1 - 5 (each one becomes darker)
High School Musical (1, 2, 3) 
Home Alone (1 & 2)
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 
Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom 
Kiki's Delivery Service (*Anime - might skew young but it's refreshingly different) You may need to search for this but it's worth it.
The Lego Movie 
Maleficent (*loved this twist on the fairy tale, but it is dark)
Night at the Museum (1, 2, 3) 
Mr. Peabody & Sherman 
Ponyo - (*Anime - like Kiki's, might skew young but worth a try) You may need to search for this but it's worth it.
The Princess Bride 
The Princess Diaries (1 & 2) (princessy but not overly)
Ramona and Beezus 
Song of the Sea
The Sound of Music (*Original version* - they never go into the grit of the background, but it's a teachable moment if you want to move beyond the songs/story)
Spy Kids (1, 2, 3) 
Star Wars (specifically the earlier ones) 

Now, your turn! Please share any and all of your favorite shows - we must band together to stop watching crappy shows!