Top 5 TV Shows With Healthy Family Relationships

Marlena Eva
4 min readJun 1, 2024

--

TV series with healthy parents can be soothing to someone struggling with complex PTSD

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I don’t know about you but I love watching TV shows. Mystery and horror flicks like “Stranger Things”, and “The Walking Dead” are my top guilty pleasures.

However, sometimes I want to watch a TV show to connect with the characters and empathize with them. Sitcoms with healthy and mature family relationships are great at making you feel all giddy inside. Moreover, seeing these types of relationships portrayed on screen feels like attending a class on how to grow up.

Being raised by narcissistic parents is one of the toughest life experiences. You learn nothing from these parents and, when life deals you a bad hand, you will react in unhealthy ways. It’s frustrating.

Therefore, learning about mature and healthy behaviour from movies and TV shows doesn’t seem like a waste of time. I can even go as far as to say that this activity should be recommended by therapists.

Here are five TV shows with healthy family ties:

Parenthood (2010)

I started with “Parenthood” because, in my humble but incredibly biased opinion, it is the best TV series showing healthy adult relationships. The soundtrack alone (‘Forever young’ by John Doe & Lucy Schwartz) deserves an award. It is so good.

Camille is the matriarch of the Braverman family and all the other family members revolve around her. But not because she is self-involved, but because everyone needs her around. She is a positive and supportive person. Everyone respects her opinion and life choices.

Camille is the mother of four adult children, who are more or less successful at what they do. Some of them are just finding their path in life in their 40s, others are learning to become better parents and others to strengthen their marital relationships through healthy communication.

I could spend an hour writing about “Parenthood” so I’ll stop here.

Friday Night Lights (2006)

You might say that “Friday Night Lights” is the best TV series portraying healthy family relationships and I won’t argue with you. The series is about a family where the father is a popular high school football coach from Dillon, Texas.

The way he deals with his children and wife, as well as with his players is commendable. He models healthy and open communication, he’s reliable, if one of the players is in trouble, he’s there for them and he’d do anything for his wife (who is supportive and kind at her turn).

I have not finished watching this show but all the reviews online say only good things about it.

Everwood (2002)

Everwood is a lesser-known sitcom but it has the same premise: a family tries to make sense of life while helping each family member grow and evolve. The series follows Andy Brown, a doctor from Manhattan who relocates to a small town in Colorado called ‘Everwood’ to start a new life after his wife’s passing. Dr. Brown is played by Treat Williams who does such a great job in this role.

The families in this series are flawed but they grow a lot. One thing that strikes me is this: the parents in “Everwood” never let a day go by without letting their children know how much they’re loved. Sweet.

Modern Family (2009)

Modern Family is a popular TV show that observes the lives and trials of three modern-day families. Each family has their quirks and they often put themselves in hilarious situations. I recommend this sitcom to all of you in search of a light-hearted, family comedy.

Ted Lasso (2020)

Ted Lasso is one of the most uplifting TV series I have ever watched.

It is well-made, the characters are unique and well developed and it touches on topics like mental health, divorce, abusive relationships and family. It also has a decent amount of quirky and funny characters (hello, Trent Crimm). I know that Ted Lasso is not about a traditional family but

the way the coach treats his team feels more like a wise dad would treat his adult children.

Lasso and his players are all a family. And each individual in this non-traditional family contributes to its growth and well-being. Even the one negative character who, at the beginning of the show was bringing the entire team down with his selfish behavior.

I recommend this series to everyone out there. It is an inspiring sitcom that will make you want to wake up in the morning thinking that, no matter how hard your life is, there is at least a bit of hope to carry you through.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about these shows and whether they helped you feel better about your family or life in general.

--

--

Marlena Eva

MA in Social Psychology. Freelance Writer. Poet. Writes about: narcissism (NPD), relationships, mental health.