Thanks to shows like Real Housewives, The Bachelor, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, TV shows have gotten a bad wrap for being pointless and stupid.
Despite popular belief, TV shows that are both engaging and educational do exist.
I’m talking about shows that you can’t just turn on in the background while you’re cooking or doing work. No soap operas, no reality TV. I’m talking about shows that keep you engaged.
I’m talking about shows that you have to pay attention to, and you want to! A lot is going on, and your focus is required or you might miss something important.
I’m talking about shows with details, complicated plots, and specific educational information.
Shows that are entertaining and intriguing, while also exercising your mind sounds like the best of both worlds to me.
Your usual shows have their place in your heart and are some of our favorites, too – like Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order. Newer shows like The Crown and Game of Thrones are growing in popularity among all ages, and they also have an educational perk. Below are some shows that maybe your iGeneration grandchildren are watching that you might find to be fascinating, too.
A popular medical show that has continued for 14 seasons, Grey’s Anatomy takes place in a Seattle hospital and follows the life of surgeon Meredith Grey and her colleagues.
While the show tracks the intertwining relationships and circumstances of all the surgeons, the show’s medical component is at the forefront. New patients, symptoms, and conditions are introduced each episode. Some cases are routine and considered easy-fixes, while others are more complicated or unusual.
As the viewer, you’re along for the ride. You become invested in patients’ health and follow their cases closely. Although a lot of medical terminology thrown around that any non-surgeon wouldn’t comprehend, each case is broken down in one way or another.
Inevitably, you’ll learn about basic medical procedures and protocols. You’ll also be giving your brain a workout as you follow the details of the simultaneous medical cases wrapped in each episode.
You can watch Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning on Netflix with a subscription, and new seasons air on the ABC network.
Game of Thrones
A fantasy drama show, Game of Thrones creates a space to exercise your imagination. Taking place in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the show’s premise is about people from different kingdoms plotting to become king of the whole land.
Because the setting is other worldly and seems to be fashioned after medieval Europe, you must learn to become familiar with and understand a new world and behaviors.
Old characters resurface and new characters are introduced to thicken the plot, so it is important to get to know and remember each character and their motives. With many minute details and overlapping relationships, the show is difficult to watch casually.
If you’re into fantastical, sci-fi stuff with a historical feel, Games of Thrones is probably the show for you!
Game of Thrones can be found on HBO, which is a pay station.
The above suggestion goes out to you history buffs in the room. I, too, identify as such.
Classified as a historical drama, The Crown is set in mid-1900s United Kingdom and traces the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The show ventures from 1947 to potentially present day.
Despite many shows that are very loosely based on historical facts, The Crown has been acclaimed for its close ties to historical accuracy.
Even if you’re not particularly looking to brush up on your 20th century UK history, The Crown gives you a glimpse of royalty and a mix of politics and scandal to keep you wanting more.
The Crown can be watched on Netflix with a subscription. If you’re interested, you can read more about what Netflix and other streaming services have to offer here. Need help setting up streaming services? Ask a Pup!
Law and Order
If you haven’t seen Law and Order show, I’m sure you’ve heard it come up in conversation before. After airing 20 seasons over a 20-year period, Law and Order is known for depicting police and legal procedures in a dramatic fashion.
Each episode takes on a new legal case with both an investigation and prosecution. Interestingly enough, many of the cases in the episodes are inspired by real-life cases. While many crime shows detail very far-fetched scenarios, Law and Order keeps it realistic, giving you a relatively accurate depiction of national crime types and processes.
Besides the obvious legal and investigative information you’ll be exposed to, your brain will be exercised trying to follow a complicated legal case. Remembering the facts, evidence, and potential motives will surely motivate you to finish episodes and watch the following ones as well!
Law and Order episodes can be found on Hulu with a subscription.
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What shows have you seen? Which are your favorites? Do you have more suggestions? We want to know what shows tickle your fancy, so make sure to tell us what you’ve learned from your favorite shows and Submit Your Story!
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