Suggestions for Wholesome Family Shows on Netflix
It was a bittersweet night for our family last night. My daughter and I started watching Highway to Heaven on Netflix more than two years ago. Whenever both of us had some free time in the evening, one of us would pose the one-worded question: "Highway?"
We started with episode one, and worked our way through the entire five-season Michael Landon series from the 1980s. It's funny, I remember watching the series when I was a little kid, but not one episode was familiar to me as I rewatched it 30 years later.
My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting was cringy at times, the writing was super corny, but the lessons were always heartfelt and meaningful. I was struck by how many of the societal problems that were featured in the show were still prevalent today, which is both discouraging and encouraging at the same time. While these problems haven't yet been solved, there is a certain amount of relief to see that the world hasn't suddenly gone to hell in a handbasket. So many of these problems have been around since long before we were here.
One fun game that we play is to try to pick out guest actors that appeared in the series and later became big stars; Helen Hunt and Matthew Perry are two of many that come to mind. The YouTube link to the Matthew Perry full episode is below.
We also loved to try to guess the plot twist that each episode seemed to have. It's also worth watching the series for nothing more than to marvel at how Michael Landon can cry on command. He was a master of cry-acting.
Now that we have finished the show, my daughter and I are looking for the next show for us to watch. Ideally, I'm looking for a show from the '80s or '90s that is currently streaming on Netflix – something that is family-oriented and is centered around morals and making decisions.
A few suggestions I got when I brought up the topic on the air were Party of Five, Seventh Heaven, and Gilmore Girls. I'm also considering trying to get her into Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was a favorite of mine while I was growing up, and does center around making tough decisions for the greater good.