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10 TV Shows You Should Watch So You Can Talk About Them With Your Grandkids

Let's just say it may be time to get that Hulu subscription

Pedro Pascal in the Disney Plus series The Mandalorian and Jane Levy in the NBC show Zoeys Extraordinary Playlist

Lucasfilm Ltd.; Sergei Bachlakov/NBC

En español | Last year, a whopping 532 scripted shows aired across network, cable and streaming services. While that's too many series to binge-watch in a lifetime, don't skip any simply because they seem geared toward viewers your grandkids’ ages. While a few of these shows that young audiences love may already be waiting in your queue, you might want to push them to the top of the list (and discover others here you might not have heard of yet). Hey, they just may be the key to unlocking some thoughtful, multigenerational dinner table (or Zoom) conversations.

The Great (Hulu)

If you're a fan of The Crown (and vodka!), binge this deliciously irreverent origin story of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) by Tony McNamara, 53, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Favourite. If you can't wait to see what happens in Season 2, check out HBO's Catherine the Great miniseries, which stars Helen Mirren, 75, as the older and wiser empress.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: the difference between Elle and sister Dakota, who stars in her own period show, TNT's The Alienist, about a serial killer in 1890s New York.

Watch it here: Hulu

Ramy (Hulu)

Stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef picked up a surprise best-actor Golden Globe this year, but many viewers hadn't heard of his good-natured namesake dramedy about a first-generation Egyptian American coming to terms with his Muslim faith in modern America. Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (MoonlightGreen Book) joined the second season as an inspiring imam, but the show's most moving scenes involve Ramy's mother, Maysa (Hiam Abbass, 59), who's navigating the gig economy as a new Lyft driver.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: that Abbass also stars as Marcia Roy on HBO's acclaimed Succession.

Watch it here: Hulu

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

This musical dramedy tells the story of Zoey (Jane Levy), a computer programmer with the power to hear others’ internal monologues in the form of elaborate musical numbers. These high-energy scenes are juxtaposed with a more melancholy home life, as she helps her mother (Mary Steenburgen, 67) care for her father (Peter Gallagher, 65), who is paralyzed by a neurodegenerative disease — a storyline inspired by the creator's father's own struggles.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: that Zoey's neighbor Mo (played by powerhouse Broadway vocalist Alex Newell) identifies as gender nonconforming.

Watch it here: Hulu


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Nailed It! (Netflix)

Millennials get a sugar high from this zany answer to The Great British Bake Off, hosted by comedian Nicole Byer and 61-year-old chocolatier Jacques Torres. The premise is simple: Give three amateur bakers an impossibly difficult challenge and watch hilarity ensue. No matter how reliably disastrous the finished product, the judges are never mean-spirited, offering upbeat compliments about, say, the taste of the buttercream. Dare we say that it's the sweetest competition show on television.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: that Byer hosts two wildly popular podcasts, Why Won't You Date Me? and Best Friends.

Watch it here: Netflix

RELATED: In a food show mood? Great, because our critics hit the overflowing pantry that is food TV and set your table with the best of the best. Get the whole tasty list right here: 11 Tasty Food and Cooking Shows to Stream Now

Cheer (Netflix)

Tiger King got a lot of buzz this spring, but if you prefer your Netflix docuseries to be heartwarming rather than tawdry, check out this uplifting (literally — check out those flying stunts!) six-episode portrait of the Navarro College cheer team in Texas. You might see a little bit of your grandchildren in team members such as the inspirational Jerry and powerhouse Gabi.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: that coach Monica Aldama is on this season of Dancing with the Stars.

Watch it here: Netflix

RELATED: Were you among the legions of Americans fixated on the criminal twists and turns in Tiger King? Do you love an absorbing true-crime series? We do, too, which is why we asked our critics to pick the most fascinating, can't-stop-watching true-crime shows streaming now. It's a killer list, and it's right here: The 15 Best True-Crime Shows to Binge Right Now

Watchmen (HBO)

Don't mistake this DC Comics adaptation for frivolous entertainment. Earning more Emmy nominations than any other show this year (26!), the superhero limited series — created by Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof — is deadly serious about issues of criminal justice and racism. You'll recognize many of the faces on this incredibly deep bench: Regina King (49), Don Johnson (70), Jeremy Irons (71), Jean Smart (68) and Louis Gossett Jr. (84). Oh, and in the show's alternate reality, guess who's been president since 1992? Robert Redford (84).

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: about the real-life — but oft-forgotten — 1921 Tulsa race massacre, which forms the backdrop for the gut-wrenching pilot.

Watch it here: HBO

The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Has your grandkid been cooing over the adorable Baby Yoda this year? See what all the fuss is about with this Star Wars universe space western. Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal stars as a masked, morally ambiguous bounty hunter, but the true breakout is the pea-green puppet called The Child. Remember: He's not a younger version of everyone's favorite Jedi grand master, but rather a different member of the same species.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: although an infant he may appear, 50 years old Baby Yoda is.

Watch it here: Disney+

Central Park (Apple TV+)

Broadway buffs will love this charming animated musical sitcom that comes from the team behind the Emmy-winning Bob's Burgers and features songs by Cyndi Lauper (67), Alan Menken (71), Sara Bareilles and more. Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr. stars as the park's manager, who lives on the titular grounds with his wife (Kathryn Hahn) and kids (Tituss Burgess and Kristen Bell), and faces a dastardly park-privatization plot at the hands of hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham (Stanley Tucci, 59). See if you can pick out other famous theater voices, including Josh Gad, Audra McDonald (50), Andrew Rannells and Odom Jr.'s Hamilton castmates Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: that Bell stepped down as the mixed-race daughter, Molly, so an actress of color (Emmy Raver-Lampman) could take on the voice in Season 2.

Watch it here: Apple TV+

Jimmy O Yang Punam Patel Paul Jurewicz Steve Carell John Malkovich Don Lake and Thomas Ohrstrom in the Netflix series Space Force

Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Space Force (Netflix)

Thanks to his indelible work as bumbling boss Michael Scott, 58-year-old Steve Carell will always hold a special place in the hearts and minds (and memes) of millennials. Along with The Office creator Greg Daniels (57), Carell created and stars in this Dr. Strangelove for the modern political era — co-starring John Malkovich (66) and Lisa Kudrow (57) — about the establishment of the U.S. Space Force.

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: the name of next-big-thing actress Diana Silvers, who plays Carell's daughter.

Watch it here: Netflix

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in a scene from the Netflix original series Never Have I Ever

Lara Solanki/Netflix

Never Have I Ever (Netflix)

Mindy Kaling goes full John Hughes with her delightful coming-of-age comedy. First-time Canadian actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan stars as Devi, a high schooler coping with dating, Indian identity and the sudden loss of her father. If you were a Gilmore Girls fan, you'll respond to the realistically complex relationship between Devi and her mom (Poorna Jagannathan). In a fun twist, the narrator of this uniquely female and South Asian story is quite possibly the last person you'd expect: tennis legend John McEnroe (61)!

Your grandkids will be amazed you know: that Devi's therapist is played by TV all-star Niecy Nash (50), who steals scenes in ClawsWhen They See UsScream QueensMrs. America and Reno 911! When does she sleep?!

Watch it here: Netflix

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