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10 Family TV Shows Like The Fosters

Updated on November 29, 2019
Harry Sheen profile image

A film buff who enjoys watching a range of different films from funny rom coms to intense thrillers.

The Fosters follows the story of the Foster family led by Stef and Lena, a lesbian couple. It’s a family drama TV series that explores the realistic problems that might happen to a multi-ethnic family created by adoption and birth.

If you like family-ensemble dramas that freshly discuss social issues, you will definitely like this show like me. Perhaps you’ve already finished watching The Fosters, and now, you want more. Here are some of the best shows, like Fosters. Check out the 10 below:

TV Shows Similar to Fosters

A list of shows like the Fosters that you should check out:

  1. Jane the Virgin
  2. Family
  3. This Is Us
  4. Parenthood
  5. Bloodline
  6. The O.C.
  7. The Mindy Project
  8. The Good Place
  9. Modern Family
  10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

1. Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin follows the story of the religious Latina virgin, Jane Villanueva. She got pregnant after being accidentally inseminated artificially. Gina Rodriguez plays the role of Jane Villanueva. Jane the Virgin deals with issues like reproductive rights, abortion, and mature sexual themes. The titular character’s willingness to handle the situation rationally is commendable. Jane’s family also becomes her source of strength. Her dilemma also brought her closer to her mother.

Jane the Virgin is a unique find on American TV as it pokes fun at the Latin American telenovela. Complex character relationships and plot twists make the show interesting and worth adding to your must-watch list.

2. Family

Family resonates with nostalgia. It shows the lives of the members of the Lawrence family in Pasadena, California. Family stars James Broderick, Kristy McNichol, Sada Thompson, Meredith Baxter Birney, and Gary Frank. The show explores themes of family bonds, despairs, and joys. You will see how Lawrence’s love each other, start new jobs, fight, fall in love, and graduate school. The actors are also exceptional in portraying their roles.

3. This Is Us

This Is Us follows the story of the Pearson family through different timeframes. Most of the scenes take place in the present, but the show also uses flashbacks to tell the family’s past. This is the US shows the lives of Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their 3 children – Randall, Kevin, and Kate. You will be drawn by the show’s frequent twists, poignant writing, and the actors’ strong acting. The stories are relatable, and the characters are likable. Their interactions are also believable.

4. Parenthood

Parenthood is a family drama about a large extended family, the Braverman clan that consists of the patriarch Zeke and matriarch Camille, their 4 children and their grandchildren. The show also presents Asperger’s Syndrome with maturity and compassion. Adam, the couple’s oldest son, is a source of strength for his 3 younger siblings – Julia, Sarah, and Crosby. Aside from raising a boy who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, they also need to deal with brooding teens. The show tends to focus on the problems and struggles of adult characters in their thirties.

5. Bloodline

Bloodline aired for 3 seasons and featured great performances and writing. It’s a thriller that shows the lives of the Rayburns – matriarch Sally and patriarch Robert as well as Kevin, Meg, and John. The family’s peaceful life is disrupted when Danny, the estranged eldest son, suddenly comes back. Bloodline is twisted and grotesque to the very core, but it also explores familial relations and bonds.

Murder and death are recurring themes, so expect to see lots of blood, dead bodies, charred remains, shootings, and fistfights. Aside from the cast’s stellar performances, Bloodline also creates a conspicuous sense of place showcasing spectacular shorelines, gentle breezes and blue skies. The show takes time divulging secrets. If you like shows that offer a slow burn, you should add Bloodline to your must-watch list.

6. The O.C.

The Orange County, more popularly known as The O.C., is a story about a troubled teenager named Ryan Atwood. Ryan has to adjust to his new life after being adopted by a wealthy family that resides in the Newport Beach neighborhood in Orange County, California. He has to deal with his surrogate brother Seth and his feelings towards the beautiful girl next door as well as his snobby neighbors. Ben McKenzie portrays Ryan Atwood.

The O.C. has a spoiled-rich-kids setting, but don’t think that it’s only about fashion obsessions, sex scenes, and drug scenes. Aside from the well-written script, the performances of the cast are also good.

7. The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project follows the story of Mindy Lahiri, a successful obstetrician with a romantic comedy obsession. This obsession, however, has distorted her view of relationships and love. Her search for the right partner keeps leading her back to the same appalling habits and 2 different doctors. Mindy Kaling, an Emmy-nominated writer, portray Mindy Lahiri. The titular character was inspired by Mindy Kaling’s mother, who is also an OB/GYN.

Mindy Lahiri dates several men, including a pious minister and a high-powered attorney. However, her relationships never get the happy endings that are usually seen in the movies. Mindy tries her best to maintain a balance in her personal life, professional life, and medical practice. The Mindy Project uses a light-hearted and poignant narrative to show how a working professional holds her own.

8. The Good Place

The Good Place follows the story of a woman named Eleanor Shellstrop, who finds herself in a heaven-like afterlife. It’s a fantasy sitcom that emphasizes moral messages because only good people and actions are allowed in this afterlife. Actions like fraud are criticized. The show has some vulgar language and jokes about body parts, being horny and bodily functions.

Eleanor Shellstrop, a con-artist portrayed by Kristen Bell, has died and ends up in a Good Place due to someone else’s mistake. She is given a small house by Michael, a heavenly coordinator portrayed by Ted Danson. Aside from her morally upright neighbors, Eleanor also meets Chidi, who was an ethics professor when he was alive. Chidi, Eleanor’s supposed soul mate, is the only person who knows she is not where she should be. This fact causes shock waves to radiate throughout the afterlife. Eleanor, however, hopes to use this chance to change for the better and become someone worthy of the placed she ended up in.

Good Place explores the complexities of being good. It turns out that the heaven-like afterlife Eleanor ended up in is a series of extensive suburbs designed to meet the needs of its residents. Eleanor lives in a neighborhood with yogurt shops and green lawns. Her house has many photos of clowns and a primary color scheme. Eleanor, however, doesn’t fit into the neighborhood, the house, and the heaven-like afterlife. Soon, her selfishness and snarky attitude cause unpredicted consequences.

Since she doesn’t want to end up in the Bad Place, she has to improve herself to stay in the neighborhood. Although this kind of setup is not exactly original, the hilarious jokes and Kristen Bell’s flippant, cheeky attitude make the show worth adding to your must-watch list. A list of people in the Bad Place includes Mozart, Elvis and every U.S. president except Lincoln. Good Place is a fun show that you can watch with your whole family.

9. Modern Family

This is a documentary sit-com that follows the lives of 3 different families. It explores a wide range of themes including parenthood, communication in a communication, and various types of families. Modern Family is short from a documentary filmmaker’s perspective. The show premiered in 2009 and received great response from critics and audience alike. Many praise the thoughtfully written narrative and the hilarious performances of the cast.

Modern Family presents an honest and poignant portrayal of contemporary family life. The families featured in the show include a post-midlifer and his stepson and younger Latina second wife and a same-sex couple together with their adopted daughter. Modern Family shows the ups and downs of family relationships, parenting, and marriage. It contains some funny sexual moments and stereotyping. You may want to be careful when watching it with teens because of these themes. Mature teens, however, will most likely find themselves entertained when they watch the show.

10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt first aired in 2015 on Netflix. It shows the story of Kimmy Schmidt, who was rescued after 15 years as a captive of a Reverend who told them that doomsday has come. Kimmy decides to start a new life in Manhattan. She gets a job as a nanny for the stepdaughter and son of Jacqueline, a narcissistic socialite. Kimmy lives in an apartment together with a gay roommate called Titus.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a quirky comedy series that shows a young woman’s naïveté and optimistic outlook as she bravely faces the world she’s unfamiliar with. The substantial characters are another plus for the show. They have mutually gratifying relationships and rich personalities. These characters also demonstrate the show’s theme of determination and resilience.

Find out what to watch next.
Find out what to watch next. | Source

Have you got a better idea as to what you want to watch next after The Fosters? Let us know if you decide to go ahead and start watching any from the list of shows above. If you think we might have missed tv shows like The Fosters and you think are really similar, then please do let us know in the comments below and we will add it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Harry Sheen

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