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10 Classic Family TV Shows Everyone at Home Will Enjoy

 In this day and age, we’re constantly exposed to so much new media and information on a daily basis it can get overwhelming very quickly. In our opinion, it’s just as important to remember the good old classics and share them with the younger generations as it is to stay up-to-date with modern times and the latest trends. The area where this is especially true is film and television.

Don’t get us wrong, some of the newer films and TV shows are very impressive in terms of special effects and cinematography, but this doesn’t mean that some of the cinema classics that aired before the 1990s cannot stand the test of time. All 10 of the television shows we’re about to list are such universally acclaimed classics from the 1950s and onwards that can strike a chord with audiences of all ages and put a smile on everyone’s faces, so the whole family is guaranteed to enjoy watching them together.

1. I Love Lucy (1951-1957)​

Genre: comedy, family

I Love Lucy was one of the first-ever TV shows to run on television, and it is still one of the most hilarious shows ever released, and that says something! Universally funny, I Love Lucy remains the standard for any sitcom even today, with both big and small being capable of appreciating Lucille Ball’s hilarious character and endless stunts as she attempts to infiltrate the world of showbiz.

2. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

Genre: comedy, family

The Dick Van Dyke Show is a classic sitcom from the ’60s starring the ever-famous Dick Van Dyke, as well as Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Mathews, and Mary Tyler Moore. The plot of the TV series is based on the hilarious life experiences of comedy writer Rob Petrie, played by Van Dyke, with many characters of the show based on real people. The show is giving the viewer a unique inside look at the creation of a comedy TV show in the ’60s. Interestingly, The Dick Van Dyke Show was one of the few shows at the time filmed before a live audience.

3. The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971)

Genre: comedy, family

This show is another one of those immortal and ever-funny sitcom classics from the ’60s and ’70s. Running for nearly a decade, the amusing story of a poor family from Arkansas that moves to Beverly Hills after striking oil on their land in the Ozarks has been one of the most famous TV shows in history, with the hilarious country-to-city trope becoming a recurring feature in film ever since. To this day, 16 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies remain on the list of 100 most-watched TV episodes in history, which says it all.

4. The Honeymooners (1955–1956)

Genre: comedy, family

While there are several iterations of the show, the original episodes, also known as the Classic 39, that aired during the 1955-1956 season are considered the finest. The show follows the life of a Brooklyn couple, Ralph Kramden played by the hilarious Jackie Gleason and his wife Alice (Audrey Meadows), as well as Ralph’s best friend Ed Norton (Art Carney). The show was one of the most relatable sitcoms of the 1950s since it was one of the first TV shows that didn’t follow the idealized formula of a suburban upper-middle-class family living the perfect life in a perfect home, providing the much needed comic relief for working-class couples like Ralph and Alice instead, whose gritty and struggling lives were very real.

5. Gilligan's Island (1964-1992)

Genre: Comedy, Family

Another iconic show, Gilligan’s Island shows the comic adventures of seven castaways after they are shipwrecked on an island. The characters’ unsuccessful attempts at fleeing the island, for which the dimwitted, accident-prone first mate Gilligan is often responsible, are still a hilarious spin on the deserted island theme. We recommend starting with the original season filmed in black-and-white (but later colorized).

6. Get Smart (1965-1970)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Cold War spy genre was all the rage in the 60s, with James Bond movies dominating the mass movie market in the US and beyond. Get Smart became the counterpart of the secret agent genre, parodying it decades before Mr.Bean took the role of secret agent Johnny English. The fun and witty TV series created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry expanded the genre of comedy on television, and the clumsy character of Agent 86 Max Smart portrayed by Don Adams is sure to catch some laughs even today. 

7. The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)

Genre: Comedy, Family

Considered to be one of the last old-style family sitcoms in TV history, The Brady Bunch aired between 1969 and 1974, but several spin-offs of the original series have been filmed after. The series revolves around the lives of a large blended family of six children, with the kids curiously being perfect mirror images of their parents. The quirky and dare we say groovy aesthetic of the show made it very popular among kids and teens, years after the show was canceled in 1974. Even today, the Brady Bunch is one of the most universally-recognized TV series in television history, despite not being a critical and monetary success.

8. Family Matters (1989–1998)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama 

Family Matters is a 1989 spin-off from the sitcom Perfect Strangers. Initially, the TV series followed the day-to-day life of the Winslows, a middle-class African-American family from Chicago. But everything changed when the quirky neighbor Steve Urkel portrayed by Jaleel White appeared on the show. Initially, Urkel was intended to make just one appearance on the show, but he soon took over the show completely and became the most-recognized character in the show. Family Matters ran for 9 seasons, becoming the second-longest-running sitcom from the US with a predominantly African-American cast.

9. The Addams Family (1964–1966)

Genre: Comedy, Family, Horror 

How could we possibly miss everyone’s favorite and most lovable monster family? Only judging from the insane amount of spin-off series, cartoons, movies, and animated films the original TV series has generated, you know it’s a good one! Interestingly, many people have never watched the original series, which came out in black-and-white for only two seasons between 1964 and 1966. The eccentric characters, completely unaware of their strangeness, invite the viewers to be part of their lives as they try to become part of the community they live in, failing completely and unintentionally causing irreversible trauma to anyone who dares enter their home. 

10. The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)

Genre: Comedy, Family

The Andy Griffith Show is one of the most well-received and popular television shows in history. The show featured comedian and actor Andy Griffith in the main role - that of Andy Taylor, sheriff of Mayberry, a small quiet town in North Carolina where nothing ever happens. The show was most famous for its special nostalgic feel, and it was a smash hit, earning a total of 6 Emmy Awards throughout its eight-season run. At this point, it has become part of cinema history, so it's a must-watch for everyone who isn't familiar with it.

Cover image source: YouTube

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