Our “Worth Streaming” column highlights shows we’ve liked on various streaming platforms. Have a show you’d like to recommend? Let us know here.
Alright non-sci-fi folks, hear us out on this sci-fi series. Hilary Swank stars as the commander of the very first mission to Mars, and she’s accompanied on the three-year mission with astronauts from Britain, Russia, China, and India. The eleven-episode series follows the astronauts through space, as well as their families and colleagues at NASA. What viewers see is a beautiful and challenging story about perseverance and the power in recognizing our shared humanity.
We were also impressed with and challenged by the themes of faith, family, and feminism the show wrestled with. Swank’s character leaves for her mission when her only daughter is beginning high school—the show doesn’t shy away from any of the turmoil this sort of mission might cause in a mother–daughter relationship. And it left us wondering—would we have felt this conflicted about the three-year absence from her child’s life if Swank were a man?
Based on the popular New York Times column Modern Love, this series brings popular essays to visual life. And it’s not all romance they highlight—there were episodes about mental health and friendship, single motherhood, and finding love again in older age. The series isn’t perfect—there’s infidelity, casual sex, and more/
But we were impressed with how the series captured the truth in some real struggles some people have with love—one episode addresses how absent fathers can influence decisions in love, while another episode highlights how some individuals use work to create or find what they think they’ve missed in life.
Before there was This Is Us and the Pearsons, Parenthood and the Bravermans captured prime time television with their real-to-life series. Parenthood follows the lives of Adam, Sarah, Julia, and Crosby Braverman—four adult siblings all living in the same town as their Boomer parents.
If we’re being honest, the script of this show in many episodes will likely have you wanting to give up—and then, something redeeming happens that will have you hooked. There’s a lot of sleeping around, and some of it is unnecessary or just unrealistic to the character or storyline. But there is an incredible theme about family: the bonds between siblings, the commitment that blood and family forges, and how family can be your biggest cheerleader and the greatest force to challenge you to become a better person. The show also masterfully displays autism and how it challenges, changes, and adds so much love to a family. We can almost guarantee you’ll laugh, cry, feel comforted, and think deeply when watching this show.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated since publication.