Is it just me, or does it seem like every new show is an hour long? There are plenty of binge worthy shows out there, but I don’t always have an hour I’m willing to dedicate. So what’s worth of watching, and where can it be found? I’ve compiled this handy list to help you (and me) find something to watch that’s just the right length.
Make sure you check the ratings and preview before watching with kids- a lot of these are ones I watch after the kids are in bed! I have included some kid friendly ones in purple, but still check age recommendations as what’s a good fit for my family may not be for yours.
- Diary of a Future President (25-30 minutes): I know I’ve praised this one before, but it is just so good. I especially love how there are no stereotyped characters; every single character is deeply developed.
- Stuck in the Middle (25 minutes or less): This fun family centered show characterizes the ups and downs of living with a big family. It’s humorous and my kids love the inventing aspect.
- Spark Shorts (12 minutes or less): These shorts from Pixar explore deep concepts, from nonverbal communication to sacrifice to friendship.
- Short Circuit (10 minutes or less): These shorts from Disney are beautiful and fun.
- High School Musical, the Musical, the Series (30-35 minutes): This show is probably fine for older kids, but there are a lot of romantic relationships and characters struggling with parental separation, so not appropriate for all ages.
- Wizards of Waverly Place (24 minutes): This one is a throwback! But I loved this show during its heyday, and it holds up well.
- Andi Mack (25 minutes or less): This is the cheesy show I indulge in despite the high stakes drama. Andi has her life turned upside down when she learns that her big sister is actually her mom, and the woman she’s been calling ‘mom’ is actually her grandmother. It’s like a soap, for tweens, and yet I’m completely, shamelessly sucked in. Enjoy.
Behind the Scenes and Reality
- Disney Insider (20 minutes or less): I love this behind the scenes glimpse at what goes in to making my beloved Disney content!
- One Day at Disney Shorts (less than 10 minutes each): These snippets further explore the roles of Disney employees, as first begun by the documentary One Day at Disney. It’s such a fun way to see what it’s like to work at Disney. Most are kid friendly, but I haven’t watched all of them yet so I didn’t mark it as kid friendly in case there’s something later on.
- Prop Culture (30-35 minutes): This is a new show that just premiered in May! I can’t wait to watch this look at the props from famous shows and movies.
- Be Our Chef (20-25 minutes): Our entire family loves watching this friendly cooking competition. We enjoy seeing the families work together to create and execute a recipe, and it further encourages our littles to get involved in the kitchen. Since my seven year old still wants to be a chef, it’s a great joy to watch it with him!
- Never Have I Ever (22-30 minutes): I learned about this show from following Mindy Paling on social media, and I knew it was her brainchild and she’s been involved in it. I’m so glad I watched it! I’ve already finished the first season. It is so good. The characters are incredibly well developed, and the relationships between mother and daughter as they recover from a tragedy are portrayed realistically. The protagonist is flawed yet likable, and I found myself rooting for her to make the right choices.
- Parks and Rec (21-29 minutes): This pandemic has made me want to watch lighthearted shows, not heavy, intense, or suspenseful ones. Parks and Rec is perfect for that! I love the characters and how they love one another even when they’re vastly different.
- Working Moms (22 minutes): This comedy highlights the struggle of motherhood. It can make you laugh out loud, gasp, and sometimes cringe, but the plot is engaging and the characters likable.
- Young and Hungry (22 minutes): This Freeform show is lighthearted fun, with lots of innuendo and hijinks.
- Mr. Iglesias (26-31 minutes): This unconventional teacher and his band of misfit students are sure to capture your heart. I can’t wait for season 2!
- Fuller House (25-35 minutes): Full House got an upgrade, y’all! I definitely would’ve loved the set to get more of an update too, but this reboot has been fun (and I can mostly watch it while the kids are awake, which is nice).
- The Good Place (22 minutes): My love for Kristen Bell is no secret, and her role in this show is a riot. The plot is incredibly engaging and its one of those shows where you just can’t wait to watch the next episode.
- New Girl (21 minutes): This lighthearted Zooey Deschanel comedy follows teacher Jess as she navigates life…and living with a rowdy group of guys.
- Liv and Maddie (23 minutes): This Disney Channel show is one of my favorites. The relationships between family and friends are great, and a lot of real issues are discussed.
- One Day at a Time (25-30): This is another show that is usually lighthearted, but also has some serious heart and tackles topical issues as well.
- The IT Crowd (25 minutes): This British comedy is probably the most quoted show at my house. It is absolutely hilarious and we love it.
- No Good Nick (25-30 minutes): I’ve talked about this one before, but it’s well done and entertaining.
- The Golden Girls (25 minutes): Cheesecake, sarcasm, and classic Betty White? Yes, please.
- The Mindy Project (22 minutes): I love Mindy Kaling, as previously discussed. I watched this show from its debut and followed it to Hulu. I’m still a fan, and it feels just right for pandemic life. But I can’t help but wonder what Mindy Lahiri would be doing during quarantine?
- American Housewife (22 minutes): This fish out of water comedy is sure to make you laugh.
- How I Met Your Mother (23 minutes): Legendary sitcom that seems to be either loved or hated, but I’m on the loved side.
- I Love Lucy (24 minutes): One of my all time favorite shows! Lucy’s schemes always make me laugh.
- Modern Love (28 minutes): These are thoughtful and poignant, and I’ve really been enjoying them. I’m hoping there’s a second season!
- Upload (25 minutes, Prime Video): I haven’t watched this one yet, but it looks interesting! The pilot is 45 minutes, but the following episodes are around 28m minutes each.
Some shows are available while others have to be ‘unlocked’ by signing in to a cable provider. These change frequently, but here’s what I’ve found:
- One of a Kind (22 minutes): Follow designer Grace as she helps families let their home tell their story. Warning: you’ll want to redesign your entire house after even just one episode.
- Beachfront Bargain Hunt (22 minutes): Beach towns, lower prices? Virtual travel, at your fingertips.
- Beach Hunters (22 minutes): More virtual travel, possibly higher prices. But still pretty to look at.
Which hour long shows have been tempting me, despite my intent to go to bed at a sane hour?
- Encore (50-60 minutes, Disney+)
- Crash Landing on You (1hour 10 minutes, Netflix): I haven’t started it, but it is on my list!
- Little Fires Everywhere (54 minutes, Hulu)
- Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist (40 minutes, Hulu)
- Veronica Mars (40 minutes, Hulu)
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (45-60 minutes, Prime Video)
- Fixer Upper (44 minutes, HGTV)
- Home Town (44 minutes, HGTV)