The Wonder Years: 10 More Sitcoms You Can Enjoy With Family

A popular coming-of-age sitcom created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black, ‘The Wonder Years’ follows an adult Kevin as he looks back at his life as a quirky teenager in the late 1960s and Early 1970s. Kevin’s got the maturity that comes with age and a wry sense of humor that’s been his friend since childhood, coupling which he goes on a sarcastic commentary of himself as a youngster struggling to cope with the odd world of a teenager in a suburban household.

With its blend of humor and slice-of-life narrative, the show manages to strike a sense of relatability among viewers who find the problems linked to teenage, family, love, and friendship hitting quite close to home. The comfort of Kevin’s narrative leaves us looking for similar shows that might help us connect to our teenage years.

10. Blossom (1990-1995)

Created by Don Reo, ‘Blossom’ is an American sitcom that has Mayim Bialik essaying the titular role of Blossom Russo. The story follows the Russo siblings and their divorced musician father, Nick, as they try to adjust to life after their mother leaves. The series earned praise for Bialik’s performance, sharp writing, and sensitive handling of certain topics such as menstruation, running away, and sexuality. While both ‘Blossoms’ and ‘The Wonder Years’ have dealt with teenage life, what set the former apart was how the story was made to revolve around Blossom, a female character, despite having several important male characters in the narrative.

9. Eight is Enough (1977-1981)

Eight is Enough‘ is an American comedy-drama that’s modeled on the life of Tom Braden and is based on his book of the same name. The series is developed by William Blinn and follows the struggles faced by the Bradford family, which includes eight highly independent children. The story traces the children’s lives as they go on to grow up into adults and have families of their own. While the story in ‘The Wonder Years’ draws emphasis on the life of Kevin, the narrative in ‘Eight is Enough’ looks at all the eight children and their growing families, while also looking at the life of their widowed father.

8. Family Ties (1982-1989)

Gary David Goldberg’s ‘Family Ties‘ is a sitcom with a blend of comedy and drama. The story follows Steven and Elyse Keaton, liberals and former hippies, as they try to raise their four children on conflicting values. Boosting a promising narrative and a stellar cast, the series has managed to create a mark among viewers by beautifully showcasing the troubles of generational conflicts. While ‘The Wonder Years’ sees Kevin look back at his life as a teenager, ‘Family Ties’ sees the struggles of a family trying to come to terms with contrasting opinions and social shifts of the 60s to 80s.

7. The Goldbergs (2013-2023)

Set in the 1980s, ‘The Goldbergs‘ created by Adam F. Goldberg is based on his own childhood and family. The series takes place in Pennsylvania and follows Adam, essayed by Sean Giambrone, the youngest member of the dysfunctional Goldberg family, as he talks of his childhood days and documents his everyday family life on camera. The show has been lauded for its strong cast and brilliant writing. Like ‘The Wonder Years,’ ‘The Goldbergs’ has a similar narrative pattern, wherein both characters look back on their teenage days and the shared memories created with their families.

6. Saved by the Bell (1989-1992)

Created by Sam Bobrick, ‘Saved by the Bell’ is an American sitcom that blends comical scenes with serious issues. The story follows Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and A C Slater (Mario Lopez), two high schoolers vying for the attention of their classmate Kelly Kapowski played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. While the boys try to use every trick in the book to win her over, their principal is always a step ahead in trying to ruin their plans. Both shows have shown similar themes of teenage love through comedy, although ‘Saved by the Bell’ did touch upon some social issues such as substance abuse, environmental issues, death, women’s rights, and homelessness.

5. Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006)

If you’ve enjoyed watching ‘The Wonder Years,’ then chances are that ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ would be a fun watch. Created by Linwood Boomer, the series’ cast includes Frankie Muniz, Bryan Cranston, Tania Raymonde, and Christopher Masterson, adding to the humor with their captivating performance. The story traces the life of Malcolm, a bright and clever boy, as the teenage middle child of a dysfunctional family. Much like ‘The Wonder Years,’ ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ also looks at teenage life through a comical lens and tries to understand the different seen and unforeseen problems that arise in the lives of young adults, and the fumbles they face while trying to find solutions.

4. Boy Meets World (1993-2000)

A coming-of-age sitcom, ‘Boy Meets World’ is a heartwarming story of getting through life as a young adult with the love and support of family and friends. Created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly, the story follows Ben Savage as he essays the role of Cory Matthews, a teenager who manages to juggle romance, friends, and school with the help of his best friend, teacher, and love. While both shows dealt with the theme of teenage life, ‘The Wonder Years’ saw a grown-up Kevin look back at his life as a youngster, and ‘Boy Meets World’ saw Cory and his friends evolve from a teenager to a college goer through the series.

3. My So-Called Life (1994-1995)

Created by Winnie Holzman, ‘My So-Called Life’ deals with a teenager’s life in the 90s. It follows Angela Chase (Claire Danes) as she navigates through the struggles of high schoolers dealing with the dilemmas of having to deal with friends, drugs, exposure to boys, having crushes, and sex. Alongside Danes, the cast also includes Jared Leto, Wilson Cruz, Devon Odessa, and A.J. Langer, in pivotal roles. Both ‘The Wonder Years’ and ‘My So-Called Life’ deal with overlapping themes of teenage growing up years and the struggles faced. However, instead of using lighthearted humor to address it, ‘My So-Called Life’ opts to show the troubled side of teenage trappings.

2. Growing Pains (1985-1992)

Neal Marlens’ ‘Growing Pains’ is an American sitcom that looks at the struggles of dealing with peer pressure. The series follows psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Silver (Alan Thicke), as he moves his practice at home so he can help look after their four kids and his wife can return to work and have a career of her own. Both shows deal with the social and family life of the protagonist and his family, in a lighthearted and fun way. While there have been recurrent themes of drugs, suicide, and alcohol in ‘Growing Pains, ‘ the series also shows the joys of overcoming such obstacles with the love and support of close ones.

1. Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986)

‘Diff’rent Strokes’ is a hilarious and heartwarming narrative created by Jeff Harris and Bernie Kukoff. The story follows the misadventures of widowed Manhattan-based millionaire Philip Drummond essayed by Conrad Bain, his teenage daughter Kimberly played by Dana Plato, and his two sons Arnold and Willis Jackson, essayed by Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, whom he had adopted from his deceased African-American housekeeper. The show dealt with several underlying themes like racism, alcohol abuse, child abuse, and hitchhiking. While ‘The Wonder Years’ looks back at life as a teenager, ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ looks at the growing up issues faced due to subtle culture clashes.

Read More: Is the Wonder Years Based on a True Story?