Top 10 TV Shows You and Your Tween Will Love

Every family is different - screen time rules are different in every house, along with how screens are used (gaming, youtube, shows, chat, endless list here). In my house the preference is video content, specifically TV shows. 

As a recovering TV addict (*full disclosure, I'm not actually recovering and am in full-on binge mode), I'm always on the hunt for tween shows that are well-written with talented actors and a relatable storyline. I was raised on an excess of television with really no limits. This includes watching my mom's cheesy day and night time soap operas. There was violence galore, inappropriate sexual inuendo (or just in-your-face sexual commentary including workplace harassment and any other female harassment you can imagine). Drama, bad writing, bad acting, you name it. That was the TV I knew and loved. 

That is, until our society evolved and demanded better content. Luckily for our kids, there's an abundance of quality shows out there on every imaginable platform from cable (though who has this anymore??), Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes. There's almost TOO much to choose from these days. So without further ado, here's my list of ten shows that are fantastic, bingeable TV for your tween (as vetted by my kids). You may even enjoy find yourself watching/napping next to them on the couch. No judgement.


Gortimer Gibbons

This is a fantastic show, equal parts wacky/magical and heartbreakingly honest. This series follows Gortimer Gibbon and his two best friends, Mel and Ranger, as they navigate their life on Normal Street, a seemingly ordinary suburb with hints of something magical just below the surface. 


Just Add Magic

Both my girls love this show. Based on a best-selling novel, the series tells the story of three young friends who find a mysterious cook book and create a secret cooking club. It's an enjoyable mystery that is sweet and easy to watch. It skews slightly young so tweens on the earlier side are likely the right fit.


black-ish

This Emmy-winner can be found on ABC and hulu.com the day after it airs. Andre 'Dre' Johnson has a great job, a beautiful wife, four kids, and a colonial home in the suburbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? This is a humorous show that's a great conversation starter for tweens. 


The Kicks

Also based on a novel, The Kicks follows 12yo Devin, the best player on her Connecticut school soccer team. But life takes a turn when the family moves to California. The series follows Devin as she navigates a new school, new friends and a new soccer team. Neither of my kids are into sports but both love this show, sure to please just about any kid. 

 


Fresh off the Boat

Not unlike black-ish, this sitcom lends a fresh, funny take on a serious topic. It’s the '90s and 12 year old, hip-hop loving Eddie just moved with his parents to suburban Orlando, Florida from DC’s Chinatown. Needless to say, it’s culture shock for his immigrant family in this comedy about pursuing the American Dream.


Project Mc2

This show is all about (smart) Girl Power. My older daughter (10) is addicted. My younger one (7) can't always follow the details. But it's a fun girlie romp into a group of four diverse, highly intelligent, teenage secret agents who use their STEM skills to solve mysteries. The show stresses the girls' knowledge, friendship and the importance of teamwork. 


The Flash

It's on the CW, but we watch it on Netflix. A longtime fan of superheroes, I love the innocence and positive themes of this show. Barry, the main character, finds himself with the power to be the fastest man alive. With a team of incredible minds, he dedicates himself to protecting his city while solving a family mystery that has changed the course of his life. 


A Series of Unfortunate Events

Based on the best-selling books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), this series follows the tragic tale of three orphans - Violet, Klaus & Sunny Baudelaire - who are investigating their parents' mysterious death. Meanwhile, their evil guardian, Count Olaf (award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris), will do whatever it takes to get his hands on the kids' inheritance. The three siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling devious plans and disguises.


Supergirl

Another show on both network (CW) and Netflix, we fell in love with Kara, cousin to Superman, protector of National City. This clever show provides an unending, positive dialogue for girls empowerment and the LGBTQ community, not to mention social issues. All while Supergirl is kicking butt and taking names. You go girl. 


Once Upon A Time

This show weaves every fairy tale you've read, tying them together and revealing newly imagined lives for characters we all know. Wizards, witches, evil queens, pirates, and princesses, this is where timeless tales collide in a modern day town in Maine.


Let me know what you think! And please keep me posted if I'm missing your favorite. I have a running list of good shows in case of emergencies (such as when I need a nap or to call a girlfriend to vent). Happy watching!

Holly RaynesComment