1. The Paradise
There’s a very good reason why “The Paradise” is at the very top of my list. The only show I’d watch for the rest of my life is this one. It’s a charming love story from the 1870s, found in England’s first department store on Regent Street in London. I’m in awe of the costumes, set design, and performances – they’re all incredible! The entire Netflix catalog was watched twice, and I never watch the same show more than once. Even though it is overly sentimental, this is a great show to watch with the kids after they’ve gone to bed.
I want to be a cowgirl/horse whisperer in my next life. In the meantime, I’m learning from Heartland. This is a family-friendly show with some excellent life lessons. This is one of my go-to movies with my children, and it helped me get through my last pregnancy as well. I love the lessons it teaches about values in the family. Definitely go to see this.
3. Downton Abbey
Have you ever seen the television show Downton Abbey? (hehe) I am a total sucker for this show, as you can tell. If not for the fantastic acting and British accents, then at least for the lavish set design and tens of thousands of table-capes. Mature for kids, but even the hubs like it.
This show has it all: medieval costumes, action, magic, romance, loyalty, and good vs evil! When I first started it, my husband couldn’t stop himself from joining in. Due to his insistence, I could no longer use the treadmill while watching it alone. It’s a little too intense for my toddlers, but I think pre-teens would enjoy it. Because Arther is Arther, there will be some sword fighting, but nothing too gory. Despite the fact that there is evil/sorcery present, it was not the kind that kept me awake at night fearing for my safety. I had hoped this show would go on indefinitely!
5. Once Upon a Time
All of your favorite Disney and Storybook Characters will show up in a single story that will keep you guessing until the very end. This show’s twists and turns are some of my favorite parts. This is yet another good vs. evil show that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Once more, it’s a little frightening for children (they rip out hearts, after all), but in a bizarre pretend way. When I was a kid, I was horrified by Disney’s animated film “The Princess and the Frog.”
6. Call the Midwife
My BBC colleagues put on a lovely show! The number of women giving birth is staggering — and, let me tell you, each one looks so authentic that I’m convinced the filmmakers pay people to give birth. What the heck, I don’t know! Running on the treadmill while watching this show was excruciating. Almost every episode had me in tears, and it was getting harder and harder to breathe! I love everything about this show set in 1950s London! The husband, on the other hand, was adamantly opposed to it. Every episode will have you laughing out loud and crying with emotion! (As an aside, my 8-year-old walked in and declared she would never have children. It’s something to think about before allowing your children to see it.
7. When Calls the Heart
This is a new one to me, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait for Netflix to release the remaining seasons. In my opinion, Hallmark’s charming show is a well-done one. In my mind, it’s like a mashup of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and Christy. A well-to-do woman travels to the American West in search of love and fulfillment. She discovers both in a destitute community. This sounds like something my daughters and I would both enjoy.
8. North and South
Although there are several versions of this 19th-century novel, I thought it was an endearing love story in this short BBC series. I have a strong feeling I was meant to be born during this time period. I’m not sure I could give up my yoga pants for a pair of corsets, on the other hand. If you’re a fan of the BBC/Jane Austen era, don’t miss this miniseries adaptation of EMMA. Awkward for kids, but I think adults will enjoy it.
9. Cedar Cove
The filming took place in a charming Washington town, which added to the charm of the show. Just enough romance without being overbearing. I know I want the grace and beauty of Andie McDowell when I’m older. This is something I could see allowing my children to see, but I doubt they’d be interested.
10. Land Girls
Land Girls is a BBC miniseries about British women during World War II. It’s fascinating to think about the hardships and advancements women had to deal with back then. These facts are probably too much for me to expose my children to, but they were a great source of inspiration for me.
I hope you found my list useful, and I hope you’ll give some of these ideas a shot.