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What To Watch If You Can’t Wait For ‘This Is Us’ To Come Back

If you’re craving an ugly cry that's not related to the daily news cycle, give "I'm Sorry" or "Succession" a try.

The Pearson family’s return to television is still over a month away, which, in these dog days of August, is simply not OK.

On top of that, the end-of-summer TV glut is real. If, like me, you’re anxiously waiting for “This Is Us” to return, know that you have options. Whether it’s a drama, a comedy or something in between, consider these eight other family-centric shows to help make the wait more bearable.

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1. “Friday Night Lights”

Come for Coach and Tami Taylor, stay for Riggins and Saracen. 
Come for Coach and Tami Taylor, stay for Riggins and Saracen. 

What it is: Fictional Dillon, Texas, is ALL about football ― the sport makes and breaks the town over and over and over again in this classic series. Don’t be scared off if you don’t love football.

Watch if you want: A character-driven drama with massive heart and good-looking, complex people (looking at you, Coach Taylor) to boot.

Run time: Roughly 45-minute episodes

Number of seasons: 5

Where to watch: Hulu

2. “I’m Sorry”

What it is: The family life of a female comedian, and all that entails.

Watch if you want: A binge-worthy comedy that isn’t necessarily about parenthood but will definitely make you laugh at its ridiculousness.

Run time: Roughly 24-minute episodes

Number of seasons: 1, season 2 available to buy on Amazon

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon

3. “Parenthood”

The dialogue in this family drama is almost too real at times. 
The dialogue in this family drama is almost too real at times. 

What it is: The lives and loves of the sprawling Braverman clan, and all the drama and comedy that come with it.

Watch if you want: A precursor to the Pearson family. Also, an ugly cry.

Run time: Roughly 40-minute episodes

Number of seasons: 6

Where to watch: Netflix

4. “black-ish”

All hail queen Tracee Ellis Ross always and forever. 
All hail queen Tracee Ellis Ross always and forever. 

What it is: A comedy centered around the lives and interactions of a black family living in a white world.

Watch if you want: Smart commentary on society ― sometimes overt, sometimes subtle. Or, watch if you agree that Tracee Ellis Ross can do no wrong.

Run time: Roughly 22-minute episodes

Number of seasons: 5 (the 6th season debuts this fall)

Where to watch: Hulu

5. “The O.C.”

What it is: A rich Southern California family and all the bananas (sometimes very questionable) things people do as teenagers.

Watch if you want: A night of passive yet oh-so-enjoyable dramedy.

Run time: Roughly 40-minute episodes

Number of seasons: 4

Where to watch: Hulu

6. “Better Things”

What it is: The life of a mom of three daughters, her aging mother and her funny friends.

Watch if you want: A superbly written, immensely thoughtful and funny take on single parenthood.

Run time: Roughly 25-minute episodes

Seasons: 2 on Hulu, season 3 wrapped this spring on FX

Where to watch: Hulu

7. “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce”

This show is about women balancing life and family and work and everything else, and being messy about it.
This show is about women balancing life and family and work and everything else, and being messy about it.

What it is: Based on Vicki Iovine’s “Girlfriends’ Guides” book series, this show is about navigating divorce and family ― but it’s really about the power and importance of female friendships.

Watch if you want: A juicy drama with strong and complicated female characters, and ― bonus! ― great clothes and homes.

Run time: Roughly 40-minute episodes

Number of seasons: 5

Where to watch: Netflix

8. “Succession”

This is one effed-up family.
This is one effed-up family.

What it is: An uber-rich NYC media family goes through hostile takeovers and sibling jockeying when the patriarch father has a heart attack.

Watch if you want: A family drama that includes loathsome people you still find yourself rooting for.

Run time: Roughly 45-minute episodes

Seasons: 1, season 2 currently airing

Where to watch: HBO