Recommend some TV shows (some restrictions apply)

We have a TV, which can talk to the laptop and the Xbox - This is new from 6 months ago, when we didn’t have this sort of futuristic technology. We still haven’t got cable, so iTunes and Netflix are the main sources, although other sources exist.
Four of us watch TV together: Two adults, a 15 year old girl and a 12 year old boy.

We’ve reached the end of the shows that we know about and like, and are searching for more options. We’d like something we can all enjoy. Caveats include - not too much adult sexual content, and not an excessive amount of gore. For an illustrative example, consider the case of CSI: Miami - I thought it might work- most of the gore is computer graphics and done-been-killed corpses. It was great to riff on, since the plots are so outrageously over the top. Unfortunately, the frequency of sex crimes and child murders and child-sex-clown-furry crimes is apparently quite high in Miami (who knew?), so it became a deal breaker, as we adults would wind up turning off the show 15 minute in when someone would show up with a torn child’s pageant gown, or some other creepy artifact, and the kids would be yelling “wait, what, it’s just a dress, turn it back on!”

Also, additional caveat - My spouse passes out as soon as animation comes on. It’s like one of those fainting goat reflexes. Futurama = ZZZZZZZ.

We as a family have recently* liked:
Dr. Who
Modern Family
Top Gear **

We’ve started re-watching Lost, we’re trying out Bones, and I’m sure someone will recommend Firefly. Star Trek is possible, but so far has met with resistance from the younger viewers.

*I’m leaving out The Andy Griffith Show, and Gilligan’s Island, although they were great. Old show suggestions are completely welcome.

** My son has a limited tolerance for Top Gear

Warehouse 13
Eureka (recently cancelled, but has 5 seasons)
Chuck (also recently cancelled, also has 5 seasons)

I’ll warn you that Bones has some pretty gory moments (they’re usually short, quick shots of a decomposed body, but they can be quite horrific).

Of what’s available on Netflix, you may like:

Lie to Me
The Good Guys

We went through a cable-less year due to budget cuts in the WhyHouse, and fell in love all over again with the Old Stuff that’s available over the air on several channels of MeTV. We still watch that more than cable.

The Rifleman was a surprise hit. I’m just now discovering and falling in love with Green Acres, although no one else seems to like it.

My 7 year old is the biggest Mary Tyler Moore fan on earth. Her crush on Dick Van Dyke knows no bounds.

However, she questions whether Ricky truly Loves Lucy, so that one didn’t last long.

MAS*H has a more than a few Teaching Moments, but if you even considered CSI, I don’t think there’s anything in the whole series which would offend.

Twilight Zone might work. It’s a bit too cerebral for my little one, but your youngest has 5 years on her, so he probably won’t be bored by it.

Moving into this century, Dirty Jobs is a family favorite, as is Mythbusters. I’m pretty sure those are both on Netflix streaming service.

What about Leverage? A bunch of criminals get together and use their talents for good, a modern age Robin Hood. No gore, no sex, some fight scenes but they are generally pretty over the top and fun to watch. The interaction between the team is great, one of the rare shows that actually takes the time to make it clear these people like each other.

The main premise of the show is some elaborate con and at the end, they do a “reveal” and show you how the team did it. Bad guys are punished, good guys are rewarded.

Excellent picks for family-friendly content (Castle may be on the edge, but it’s mostly implied and innuendo from what I’ve seen), to which I would add:

Stargate (10 seasons and 2 direct-to-video movies)
Battlestar Galactica (2000 reboot)

My usual picks of Breaking Bad, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Rescue Me, Archer (animated), etc, aren’t too kid-friendly. But if you and Spouse want to check them out after the kids are in bed for the night…

ETA: Archer may be outrageously funny enough to keep the spouse awake.

Castle did have a professional dominatrix/upscale sex dungeon episode so be on the lookout for that. The A-Team was on Hulu last time I checked and I know a middle school girl who thinks it is the most amazing thing ever! It is exciting without being ultra violent and pretty tame sex-wise plus it has Mr T!

These are great recommendations, thanks. Keep them coming.

I’m getting second opinions by looking them up on, (which I just found today - I don’t know if it has any hidden biases).

I’m going to try to convince them to watch the original Stargate tonight, and then tell them that there’s a series.

I’ll second Monk and Psych as detective shows that aren’t too gory or violent. Monk is also quite tame when it comes to sex, although there’s some mildly racy content (I’m thinking mostly of jokes and pick-up lines, not actual sex scenes) on Psych.

I don’t think that would be an appropriate show for a 12 year old, and it would probably be pretty embarrassing for a 12 year old to watch it with his parents and older sister.

I think the Archer suggestion was intended to be for adult late-night viewing, with Deadwood and Dexter and such.

Ooh! OOH! Given your list and apparent fondness for sci-fi and adventure shows, how could we forget FARSCAPE?!

I don’t know if they’re on Netflix, but Raising Hope and My Name Is Earl are suitable for the family, with enough sly humor to keep adults entertained. There are lessons about tolerance, sharing, cooperation, etc., but you’re not hit over the head with them.

Since you do Netflix, I think something like /Ironside/ is a perfect detective show. Yeah, it’s old, but it’s awesome. For westerns, of similar vintage, /Alias Smith and Jones/ – the ones with Pete Duel, not his replacement after he croaked himself. Family fun? /Then Came Bronson/. Not violent, not really sexy, but a good old show with a moral in every story. I’d put those up against anything made more recently.

Friday Night Lights. It deals in premarital sex, 'roids and alcoholism, but is a great show for the 1st season. It’s HD on Netflix and looks great. I can’t recommend it enough.

Ahem. Reread my post a bit closer:

Numb3rs (Approximately 5 seasons, and while a crime procedural, it has sort of an SF feel due to the math content.)
Royal Pains
White Collar

How would *How I Met Your Mother *rank in this?

My daughter has suggested it, and I know nothing about it.

You like Sherlock? Of course, who wouldn’t? Netflix also has the Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett==set in the Victorian age. Classic stuff…

Northern Exposure (Having accepted some sort of fellowship to pay for med school, NYC doctor finds himself assigned to a small town in Alaska. Fish-out-of-water hijinx ensue as Dr. comes to know oddball inhabitants of town)

Eerie, IN (Newly arrived tween and friend are the only ones who notice that an unusual number of strange things happen in their small midwestern town…)

Third Rock From the Sun (aliens arrive on earth and try to fit in by impersonating a human family)

The Middle is family oriented, has three kids in it—appprox. 17 yr old boy, 15 yr old girl and 11 yr old younger brother. It’s as much about the parents, tho. Ex. “They want to have the wedding here? But I won’t even let the UPS guy inside!”

Come to think of it, you might like Everybody Loves Raymond.

I second Raising Hope and My Name is Earl.

Is The Waltons too old-school?