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    Throwback TV Series and Movies to Binge Right Now

    Throwback TV Series and Movies to Binge Right NowThrowback TV Series and Movies to Binge Right Now

    Massive binging on books, movies, and TV is what is dominating free time (and not so free time!) right now. These creature comforts are what we are watching and reading on our screens to occupy our time and cope with the idea that our new normal is evolving each day due to the Coronavirus quarantines in place. It's human instinct to delve into what comforts and soothes us.

    Part of seeking comfort in tumultuous times is returning to the things we know and love, which includes TV shows and movies, both of which are the most accessible they’ve ever been; a touch of a screen or a voice command sends nostalgia flooding through your TV in just moments.

    Throwbacks not only bring warm and fuzzy feelings, but they really do have historical importance to pass on to younger generations. TV shows and movies aren’t labeled “classics” at random; they’ve provided artistic value for new viewers along the way. Today’s Netflix most watched series and major movie studio blockbusters all stemmed from ideas and innovations created decades ago.

    Because times have changed, it's hard for families to distinguish what they feel is appropriate viewing. Common Sense Media is the perfect place to research thousands of titles. On the website, professionals from education and mental health backgrounds break down content and rating guidelines to inform viewers about the titles they’ve chosen. Common Sense Media researches TV, movies, books, and online games and apps to provide age appropriate options. 

    Now then, set the couch scene just right, and binge away!

    Throwback TV Shows and Movies

    Throwback TV Series and Movies to Binge Right Now!

    Classic Movies


    These titles have endured the test of time and show up on various “Best Of” lists, year after year. Yes, some are in black and white, but don’t let the absence of color dissuade you from appreciating the time period’s ground breaking content.

    • Psycho
    • Casablanca
    • Citizen Kane
    • Doctor Zhivago
    • The Bridge on the River Kwai
    • 12 Angry Men
    • Gone with the Wind
    • Breakfast at Tiffany's
    • The Day the Earth Stood Still
    • Singin' in the Rain
    • West Side Story 
    • Rebel Without a Cause
    • North By Northwest
    • Stagecoach
    • An American In Paris

    Modern Classics

    Forrest GumpTom Hanks in Forrest Gump

    There’s something to be said for introducing one generation’s classic movies to a younger crowd. One part entertainment, one part historical reference, these old movies will likely see a strong resurgence as more family time is spent at home. 

    • The Shawshank Redemption
    • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    • Forrest Gump
    • Pulp Fiction
    • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    • Good Will Hunting
    • Titanic
    • The Matrix
    • The Sixth Sense
    • Fargo
    • Jerry Maguire
    • Schindler’s List
    • The Godfather
    • Goodfellas 
    • The Silence of the Lambs

    Military Themed Movies

    A Few Good Men poster

    It’s hard to compile a throwback list and not include movies with a military related conflict. Documenting war, the military lifestyle, and its effects is a timeless genre.

    • Saving Private Ryan
    • Letters From Iwo Jima
    • Good Morning Vietnam
    • A Few Good Men
    • Hacksaw Ridge
    • Black Hawk Down
    • Stripes
    • The Patriot
    • Top Gun
    • The Best Years of Our Lives
    • Jarhead
    • Tigerland
    • Patton
    • Platoon
    • We Were Soldiers

    Family Movies

    Princess Bride

    As mentioned before, what is determined family friendly is different in every household. These movies are all rated PG-13 or under. Classic Disney movies typically dominate this category, and they’re easy to come by. So instead, take a look at this perspective on family classics.

    • Home Alone
    • Apollo 13
    • Wonder Woman
    • The Black Stallion
    • E.T.
    • The Harry Potter Series 
    • Charlotte’s Web
    • Where the Wild Things Are
    • The Wizard of Oz
    • The Sound of Music
    • The Never Ending Story
    • Mrs. Doubtfire
    • The Princess Bride
    • Field of Dreams
    • Big

    High School Reading List Movies

    To Kill a Mockingbird Movie Gregory Peck and Brock Peters in To Kill a Mockingbird

    We can’t ignore the fact that typical public education has changed recently. For parents who want to feel a bit better about screen time, advocate for these book title classics. Many have old and new versions to pick from. No, they won’t substitute for the book, but every little bit of learning helps! 

    • Anna Karenina
    • The Crucible
    • The Great Gatsby
    • Emma
    • Of Mice and Men
    • The Importance of Being Earnest
    • Hamlet
    • Lord of the Flies
    • To Kill a Mockingbird
    • Little Women
    • Dracula
    • The Grapes of Wrath
    • Great Expectations
    • The Scarlet Letter
    • Wuthering Heights

    TV Series


    It seems crazy to us now, but the early TV shows were aired on only a handful of networks, and their scheduled showtimes were something to look forward to each week--the literal beginning of must-see TV! Otherwise, you waited for reruns.

    Later, VCRs and DVRs offered more flexibility in viewing schedules. But, today, an intentional binge without the dreaded commercials is the preferred way to enjoy TV shows.  

    Classic TV Shows


    Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball in a classic scene from I Love Lucy. 

    These titles go way back, and younger viewers initially might be reluctant to watch, but try an episode or two before moving on, as there are plenty of laughs and suspense to be found. Plus, they’ll finally understand references to classic scenes such as Lucy and her time spent in the chocolate factory or while stomping grapes.

    • The Twilight Zone
    • I Love Lucy
    • M*A*S*H
    • Little House on the Prairie
    • The Honeymooners
    • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
    • The Andy Griffith Show
    • The Dick Van Dyke Show
    • Bewitched
    • Laverne & Shirley
    • The Brady Bunch
    • Happy Days
    • Star Trek
    • The Beverly Hillbillies
    • Lassie

    Modern Classic TV Shows

    the office

    You know all of those reunion reboots that are popping up? Many are from these shows that viewers continue to watch over and over again. Today, pop culture is filled with references from popular episodes of these series.

    • The Office
    • Cheers
    • Frasier
    • Downton Abbey
    • The Wonder Years
    • Lost
    • Seinfeld
    • Friends
    • ER
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • The X-Files
    • Friday Night Lights
    • The West Wing
    • Twin Peaks
    • The Simpsons

    Buried beneath the latest and greatest, most talked about entertainment choices of today are the TV shows and movies you've loved, forgotten about, or never had the chance to indulge in. Pick your favorites and introduce new viewers to the brilliance that was on the screen back in the day. What better time than now?

    Certainly some excellent throwback choices have been left off this starter pack list. What would you add to the mix? 

    By Dawn M. Smith

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    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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