With Maia Mitchell as Callie Jacob, the film ‘The Fosters’ tells the story of the teenage girl who is placed in the care of a lesbian couple and their bizarre brood of biological, adopted and foster children. Family drama and teenage and young adult themes are intertwined in this show. This list includes shows that feature “family” as an important narrative element, such as “The Fosters,” which deals delicately and gracefully with family and familial bonds.
Whether it’s Tony Soprano dealing with his personal problems in ‘The Sopranos,’ Homer Simpson cracking racial jokes in ‘The Simpsons,’ or siblings starting incestuous relationships in ‘Shameless,’ or two girls trying to locate their respective biological females in ‘Swathed at Birth,’ family plays an important role. For this list, I considered shows that use the concept of “family” as a central plot device to tell their stories. Hence, we present the following list of shows similar to “The Fosters,” which we believe you should watch. Several of these TV shows, such as ‘The Fosters,’ are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
15. Family (1976-1980)
‘Family,’ penned and directed by Jay Presson Allen in the United States, centers on the Lawrences of Pasadena. Sada Thompson, James Broderick, Gary Frank, Kristy McNichol, and Meredith Baxter Birney star in ‘Family,’ which examines the growth of family ties and the joys and sorrows that come with it. ‘Family,’ a show dripping with nostalgia, is well worth your time.
14. Bloodline (2015–2017)
“Bloodline,” a Netflix original, is a suspenseful drama about a group of grown up brothers and sisters who discover that their darkest secrets and scars are revealed when the black sheep of the family returns. It takes place over the course of three seasons, and the writing and performances are top-notch throughout. Apocalyptic in nature and twisted to the core, Bloodline deftly explores familial ties and relationships while presenting some audacious and brilliantly atrocious sequences.
13. This Is Us (2016-)
In ‘This Is Us,’ created by Dan Fogelman, the Pearson family’s lives are examined over time in different time periods. Another family drama, ‘This Is Us,’ which premiered a few months after ‘Parenthood,’ quickly became a hit with viewers. A number of actors have been recognized for their work on the show by awards such as the Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy. The show debuted in 2016 on NBC and has had three seasons since then, with no signs of stopping.
12. Parenthood (2010-2015)
The family drama is based on Ron Howard’s 1989 comedy-drama ‘Parenthood,’ and follows the Bravermans, a middle-aged couple with four children, as well as their extended families. Developed by Jason Katims, the show’s writers and producers have been praised for their maturity in dealing with family issues. Asperger Syndrom is also shown with compassion and maturity in the show.
11. Jane the Virgin (2014)
After accidentally artificially inseminating herself, Jane Villanueva (played by Gina Rodriguez) becomes pregnant in 2014’s ‘Jane the Virgin,’ a young, working, religious Latina virgin. The cast, led by the aforementioned Gina Rodriguez, excels in this absurd subject matter, which is further enhanced by their stellar work. While satirizing social taboos, the show also delves into Villanueva’s religious beliefs. One of the funniest comedies on television today, “Jane the Virgin” received numerous awards, including the Golden Globe for best “television series, musical or comedy”.
10. The O.C. (2003 – 2007)
In ‘The O.C.,’ or ‘Orange County,’ an upper-class family in Newport Beach, California’s Orange County, takes in a troubled adolescent named Ryan Atwood. According to the show’s complex plot, which is tied together by his surrogate brother Seth and his feelings for the pretty girl next door as well as the obnoxious and snobby people around him, ‘The O.C.’ depicts him as an outsider trying to make sense of his place in the world.
9. The Mindy Project (2012-17)
Mindy Lahiri’s show, ‘The Mindy Project,’ is up and running. As the show’s heart, she has drawn inspiration from Mindy Kaling’s real-life mother, an OB/GYN (did you get the Jane the Virgin reference?). Mentally and physically juggling and fighting to keep up with the demands of her medical practice and her personal life as a single working woman, Mindy is in a complicated romantic relationship. With a moving and lighthearted narrative, the show shows how a regular working professional manages to hold her own while maintaining her own personal world.
8. The Good Place (2016-)
Eleanor Shellstrop is played by Kristen Bell, who also serves as the show’s executive producer. After experiencing a rollercoaster of events, Bell’s character discovers a utopian good place in her afterlife in the show “The Good Place.” Even though her life’s deeds don’t warrant such a fortune, she recognizes the identity confusion that brought her here. She resolves to make positive changes in her life in order to be deserving of her new position, with the guidance of her wise mentor. Comedy, deaths, plot twists, and philosophical discourse abound on the show.
7. Modern Family (2009-)
‘Modern Family,’ a documentary sitcom, follows three different families that are somehow connected. With a documentary-style approach, “Modern Family” explores a wide range of topics, including the different types of families – nuclear, step- and samesex – communication in an increasingly technological world, and parenthood. When it first aired in 2009, the show was a huge hit with both fans and critics, who praised the cast’s hilarious antics and the sharply written narrative. Modern Family has been a television staple for nearly a decade even as viewership has declined over the years due to the long run of eight seasons.
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-)
In 2015, when the first episode of the Netflix series aired, it pleasantly surprised everyone. ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ is a show about Kimmy Schmidt’s life that airs on television (Ellie Kemper). They were abducted by a Reverend who brainwashed them into believing that doomsday had already occurred when she was in eighth grade. She’s been held captive for fifteen years and now must reacquaint herself with the outside world. She decides to leave her old life behind and begins a new one in Manhattan, where she meets her mother for the first time and discovers their shared secret identities. There is plenty of warmth and humor in the show as it depicts the young woman’s daily struggles.
5. Switched at Birth (2011-2017)
Written and produced by Lizzy Weiss in the United States, “Swapped at Birth” follows Daphne Paloma Vasquez and Bay Madeline Kennish, two teenagers who are genetically identical but grow up in very different circumstances. Affluent suburbia is home to one and working-class neighborhoods to the other. The show, a family drama, deals with issues of identity and ties to one’s family. It’s fascinating to see how different people’s relationships are portrayed in this show. The show’s portrayal of disabled people and use of American Sign Language as a primary narrative technique have also been praised, adding to its unique narrative.
4. Family Guy (1998-)
“Family Guy” is a comedy series created by American actor and filmmaker Seth MacFarlane that follows the Griffin family, which includes Peter and Lois Griffin, their children Meg, Chris and Stewie, and their dog Brian. The show takes place in a fictitious Rhode Island city called Quahog, and it revolves around various experiences that are fueled by humour and amusing situations. The show is an animated sitcom that uses meta-fictional humour as a narrative technique to critique and lampoon American culture. “Family Guy,” which debuted in 1998, has gained notoriety for its biting and unapologetically funny humor. The comparison to ‘The Simpsons’ has been unfavorable, but it has never diminished the show’s credibility.
3. Shameless (2011-)
Because it depicts incestuous relationships in a similar way to ‘The Foresters,’ John Wells’ comedy-drama ‘Shameless’ is unsettling, disturbing, and unusual at its core. William H. Macy stars in the comedy drama, which is based on the same-named British series that ran from 2004 to 2013. The show follows the Gallagher family as they try to make sense of our strange and seemingly perpetually naked world. The show’s graphic sex scenes may appeal to the viewer’s sense of humor. The show, on the other hand, portrays sexuality in a realistic and unappealing manner. In spite of this, because of its numerous bizarre scenes, ‘Shameless’ may as well be considered a pornographic show by some.
2. The Sopranos (1999–2007)
“The Sopranos” is one of the greatest crime dramas of all time, following Tony Soprano, the titular headman of the Soprano family and a New Jersey mob boss. Tony Soprano goes through a crisis as he suddenly has to deal with personal and professional issues that affect his mental state, causing him to seek professional psychological assistance. ‘The Sopranos’ is primarily a crime drama, but it also deals with family and the issues that surround it.
1. The Simpsons (1989-)
‘The Simpsons,’ which debuted in 1989, quickly became one of the most popular shows on television. With its patriarch Homer, his wife Marge, and their three children, Bart (the oldest), Lisa (the second), and Maggie (the third), ‘The Simpsons,’ was created by American cartoonist and writer Matt Groening. Based on the narrative trope of the “dysfunctional family,” “The Simpsons” is full of biting satire and belly-aching comedy. The show also discusses America’s racial undertones, family dynamics, and social commentary, all of which are thwarted by the show’s comedic situations.