Without the rigors of school and related activities, summertime can often be a time for children to ask for more screen time. So, it’s important for parents to stay one step ahead and have some solid choices up their sleeves. Searching for family-friendly programming at the last minute can be really stressful.
I’ve certainly tried to be ready whenever I hear the question from our eleven-year-old son, “So, what are we watching tonight?”
If you’re looking for a TV series to stream with your kids in their tween years, here’s what my family has been watching:
“Loki” on Disney+
This show, based on the Loki character from the MCU, is the best of the Marvel series on Disney+ to date.
It’s smart, character-driven and benefits from Loki’s well-established storyline from the Marvel movies. Yes, there’s a little bad language, but the violence factor isn’t as intense as what some of the other Marvel properties serve up.
The plot to protect the ‘sacred timeline’ is delightfully unexpected, and “Loki” demonstrates the true potential of a Marvel series the same way “The Mandalorian” did for a Star Wars series.
It’s so good.
“The Mysterious Benedict’s Society” on Disney+
Based on the popular books, this series follows the adventures of four gifted orphans on a mission to save the world from ‘the Emergency.’
It has the same quirky feel and cinematic flair of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix. But this show is not as dark.
After watching the premiere, my son complained that the show’s characters had been significantly altered, compared to how he envisioned them from the books. That said, he was eager to watch episode 2.
So, we’re in for more.
“His Dark Materials” on HBO Max
This series, based on the books by Philip Pullman, contains complex themes. But if your kids like this type of storytelling challenge, this show is a must watch. There’s no bad language here, but we’ve got some violence (though not at the same level of a Marvel movie).
The emotional intensity surrounding two children in parallel universes is high. Be ready for pain and loss.
It’s big, bold and cinematic. My son and I loved it.
Season 3 comes out next year.
There are only a couple of ‘language moments,’ and while there’s some violence, it’s not really part of the show’s fabric.
Dr. Smith (Parker Posey) is really creepy, but the series stays true to offering pure family adventure. “Danger, Will Robinson!”
Season 3 is being released later this year.
“A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix
It’s been a few years since the last of the three seasons came out, but if you haven’t checked out this fabulous show yet, you should. My son couldn’t “look away.”
Even though its plot is entirely depressing, it still manages to be a whole lot of fun for the entire family.
Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf is especially great.
“WandaVision” on Disney+
I expect to get to “WandaVision” with my son later this summer. I prescreened it myself earlier this year after getting burned by “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” on Disney+. (That show proved to be not for my tween. It was too violent and dark. Even he didn’t want to watch more than the first episode.)
It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the early “WandaVision” episodes, which are total throwbacks to early television sitcoms, which he’s never been exposed to.
Fun? Boring? We’ll find out…
In Search of the Next Series
Yes, there’s a fair amount of great content available for tweens. The only problem with the above series is they don’t contain that many episodes. So I’m always in search of new shows to stream with our son.
Would you have any recommendations to share? I’d appreciate it.