If you’re looking for some reliably age-appropriate and family-friendly programming, the hit family sitcoms of the late 70s and 80s are a great place to start. You may be surprised to find that kids up to about tween age aren’t at all troubled by the dated clothing and hairstyles, and the typical plots are relatable and timeless.
Even older kids can often find something to like in these shows, whether it’s a peek into the early career of superstar Will Smith or the kitsch factor. Here’s a sampling of those you can find in the Amazon Instant Video store.
Full House: Best of the Series (4/5 stars, currently available to purchase for $1.99 per episode and $19.99 for all 15 episodes) – Bob Saget plays widower Danny Tanner, who’s raising his four daughters in the San Francisco home he shares with two friends.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, 6th Season (4.75/5 stars, currently available to purchase for $1.99 per episode and $19.99 all 24 episodes in the season) – This is the television show that made Will Smith an A-List actor. Even as a young man, his talent and charisma were unmistakable, and his comic timing was perfect. Smith plays a South Philly transplant who’s been sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel Air, California.
Charles in Charge, Season 1 (4.75/5 stars, currently available to purchase for 99 cents per episode or $14.99 for all 21 episodes) – Scott Baio stars as a college student working as a “manny” – a male nanny – to pay his way through school.
Family Matters, Season 1 (5/5 stars, currently available to purchase for $1.99 per episode or $19.99 for all 22 episodes) – This is the show that unleashed the irrepressible, uber-nerd Steve Urkel on the world.
The Partridge Family, Season 1 (5/5 stars, currently available to purchase for $1.99 per episode or $14.99 for all 25 episodes) – Single mom Shirley Jones raises her large, musical brood, balancing their careers as a family musical act with all the usual ups and downs of home life. As a result of the show’s popularity and the stars’ talent, The Partridge Family became a bona-fide, chart-topping band. Co-stars the groovy teen heartthrob David Cassidy!
If you’re wondering why The Brady Bunch isn’t on this list, it’s because that program has not yet been made available in Instant Video format.