TV Shows for Moms and Daughters to Share
Watching TV can be a time suck--sitting mindlessly in front of that flickering screen for hours is certainly a negative habit. Yet TV also brings us together and can be a great bonding experience between people who watch and love a particular show. It can prompt enthusiastic discussions about characters you love or hate, exciting or frustrating plots, and even parallels to your own life.
Read on for the best TV shows for mothers and daughters to enjoy together.
Great Scenes from "Gilmore Girls"
Any list of TV best shows for mothers and daughters to watch together will have Amy Sherman-Palladino's "Gilmore Girls" at the top of the list! The series ran for seven years, starting with Lorelai Gilmore as a single mom of a sixteen-year-old girl, Rory. When Rory gets into the exclusive private prep school Chilton, Lorelai has to turn to her estranged parents for a loan to help Rory realize her dreams. At the same time, Rory struggles with the excitement and disappointment of first love, friendship, and making it at a school where she just doesn't quite fit in.
It's a simple plot line and premise, but what makes the show shine is the witty, fast-paced dialogue and the amazing chemistry between Lorelai (played by Lauren Graham) and Rory (played by Alexis Bledel) as on-screen mother and daughter. A more affectionate, devoted relationship hasn't appeared on the small screen, and it's the heart of the show (though Lorelai's relationship with Luke runs a close second).
What makes it a great show for mothers and daughters? In addition to the very positive portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship, it works on two levels: for a mother of a teenage daughter, the plots and situations give rise to a lot of healthy discussions about growing up, sex, and making good choices. For the mother of a grown daughter, it's a bit more nostalgic. Mothers will identify with Lorelai, while daughters will identify with Rory.
There's probably not a better mother/daughter show out there.
"Switched at Birth" Series Trailer
Switched at Birth
Though "Gilmore Girls" ended in 2007, "Switched at Birth" is a newer show that is only in its second season. The premise is one rife with drama: when Bay, who has never quite fit into her wealthy family, does a science project, she finds she cannot possibly be her parents' biological daughter. After a bit of digging into the situation, she finds that she and another girl--her parents' real biological daughter--were switched at birth at the hospital. Another twist? The girl she was switched with is deaf.
As the two families try to untangle their feelings and integrate into one another's lives, the two teenagers (Bay and Daphne) face quite the culture clash, both of them trying out the person they could have been had the switch not happened.
What makes "Switched at Birth" a good mother/daughter show? Like "Gilmore Girls," the plot line gives rise to a lot of great discussions about growing up, as well as identity and change. It's also got two compelling mother/daughter relationships--those the girls have with their adoptive mother, and those they begin to develop with their biological mother.
"Switched at Birth" can get a little soapy and farfetched, but on the whole it's fun (and is one of the first shows to use deaf actors and carry out entire scenes in ASL).
"Golden Girls" is a small-screen classic--and while your daughter may not originally want to sit down and watch a show about four ladies in their "golden" years, within a few minutes she will likely be hooked by the antics of the acerbic Dorothy, ditsy Rose, confident Blanche, and smart aleck Sophia.
While the show doesn't have much of a sustained plot, other than four women who have come together in one house for personal reasons but become best friends, it's full of wit, humor, and emotion.
Why is "Golden Girls" a great mother/daughter show? In addition to the deeply affectionate mother/daughter relationship between Dorothy and Sophia, it's a great, positive depiction of woman bonding and sharing their lives--rather than fighting over men and acting catty.
Best Moments from "Buffy"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is another good show for moms and daughters to watch together. Sixteen-year-old Buffy Summers comes to Sunnydale, a rather troubled and delinquent period behind her, only to find that her high school is on the Hellmouth--a hotbed of demons, vampires, and other very bad creatures. With the help of her Watcher (the staid librarian Giles) and two dedicated best friends (Willow and Xander), Buffy struggles not only to save the citizens of Sunnydale almost nightly, but also grow up to be as normal a human girl as she can. Along the way, she has to not only accept her role as the Slayer but also struggle with her doomed love for Angel, the brooding vampire with a soul who may just be her soulmate.
What makes "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" perfect for a mom/daughter TV marathon? It's fluffy fun, for the most part--the first several seasons, before the show takes a darker and more serious turn, are primarily a humorous romp with moments of tension and emotion thrown in. In short, it's just plain enjoyable. And while the relationship between Buffy and her mother doesn't take center stage very often, they're still very important figures in each other's lives.
Watching a TV Show with Your Mother or Daughter
There are plenty of mother/daughter hobbies in which you can engage--but there's something special about sharing a series you both love from start to finish over a period of time. It's a simple, short activity--around one hour--and can be fit into almost any schedule.
Part of the joy of a TV series is they connection they can develop between us--shared love and frustration for characters, episodes, and plot lines.
What's your favorite show to watch with your mother/daughter?
Elle on September 29, 2017:
As a 16 year old girl who loves binge watching shows with her mom, I definitely recommend Gilmore Girls. be prepared for a horrible TV show hangover once you finish it. You'll be quoting this show and whining about wanting more forever.
Caroline Ennloe on March 14, 2017:
PLL(Pretty Little Liars) is a good show to watch too!!
Alyssa S from USA on February 16, 2014:
Awesome Hub! I've been watching Switched at Birth with my mother since it's beginning. It's the rare time during the week when we're actually both home and can talk. Well done!
Mary Craig from New York on October 25, 2013:
You are so right! It is amazing the bonding that can happen over a TV show. There is more to talk about and sometimes laugh about. It brings mother and daughter into a realm that has no competition or "I told you so's"...great idea and great hub.
Voted up, useful, and interesting.
SaffronBlossom (author) from Dallas, Texas on July 25, 2013:
Thanks Abby! I definitely love "Little Women" and "Anne of Green Gables" but I love how TV shows can give me a quick hour of entertainment...sometimes I'm too lazy to commit to a whole movie! Since you love those movies, though, I really think you'd love Gilmore Girls--it's witty and literate, and the central relationship is really strong and positive.
SaffronBlossom (author) from Dallas, Texas on July 25, 2013:
Thanks Randi! I haven't actually seen How I Met Your Mother--I will have to watch it. Watching shows with someone makes them so much better. :)
Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on July 24, 2013:
Do you know I have not watched any of those shows? LOL. I'm sure they are great, but I usually watch movies like "Little Women" or "Anne of Green Gables" with my girls when we have time to get together for a few hours. I know you're fan of those books, but the movies are great as well. :-)
Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on July 24, 2013:
Great hub! It brought back so many memories! I used to watch Golden Girls with my mother and Gilmore Girls, Buffy with my daughter. When my grandson was born, I stayed at my daughter's house and she was wathing a show I'd never heard of: Switched at Birth!
Other shows we watch together are Friends and How I met your Mother. I actually watch more tv with my son! Thanks for an enjoyable hub! up+