5 Binge-worthy TV Shows That Are Also Socially Conscious In 2022


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TV That Is Reflective Of Real Life? Who Would've Thought!

Sure, television is meant to entertain, possibly even provide an escape for viewers from the stress of everyday life. But in more recent TV and film history, social consciousness and real-life issues have made their way onto the screen. Even though a little vacation from real life is nice every once in a while, TV and film can also be realistic and maybe even educational by shedding light on real people and the real lives they lead. 

Hollywood is often accused of being a bit tone-deaf to the reality of the hardships that "normal" people face in everyday life. But in recent years the TV and film industry has flipped this script by producing television shows and movies that are reflective of what life can be like when you are struggling with mental health, addiction, or ups and downs of everyday life.  In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares 5 TV shows that are worth bingeing to become more socially conscious in 2022. 

5 Binge-worthy TV Shows That Are Also Socially Conscious In 2022


Now I know this may seem like a surprising first pick for this list, but Shameless not only has 11 seasons so that you can spend the next few months binging 10 years' worth of TV, but it handles real-life issues on every episode. Even though Shameless may be polarizing to some in its blunt language and coverage of topics that have not yet been popularized in mainstream media, it provides a realistic look into the struggles that many people deal with. The show handles any topic from mental illness and the struggles that come along with it, to how poor neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by the criminalization of drugs, to the lasting effects of drug and alcohol addiction. Want a good mixture of harsh realities and sarcastic comedy? Shameless is a great first pick.


Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Queer Eye

Differently from the other shows on this list, Queer Eye is a reality TV series that highlights social issues through the showcasing of real people as it takes a peek into their real lives. Even though the first season or two of Queer Eye almost exclusively focuses on the transformation that the Fab Five puts straight men through, the more recent seasons have featured people all across the LGBTQ+ spectrum as well as branching beyond just male-identifying individuals. Queer Eye has given people a place to share their personal stories and be a voice for those who can relate to them. In the most recent season, the Fab Five visited a transgender woman named Angel from Texas and not only gave her the opportunity to share her story and become more comfortable with her identity but gave her the chance to reconnect with her father whom she had lost touch with after beginning her transition. In season 5, which was shot throughout 2020, the Fab Five visited a gay pastor from Philadelphia named Noah and gave him a chance to share his story and connect with LGBTQ+ youth who may be afraid of The Church because of the hatred they have received in its name. Queer Eye shows the world how many unique individuals there are in the world and helps to educate and defend against bigotry and judgment in a typically fun and lighthearted way.  

Queer Eye's Fab Five on the Success of Season 3, What's Next

Photo Credit: oprahdaily.com

This Is Us

I have never seen This Is Us myself, but it is certainly all over the feeds of pretty much every social platform I use. This Is Us is one of the great examples of how to make a show that not only adapts to things like a global pandemic but includes it in the plotline of the show. The creator of the show, Dan Fogelman even commented on the decision to either turn away from the issues that COVID-19 brought into our daily lives in addition to the trauma and tragedy that came with the violence following The Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, or try to reflect on these issues through the characters' stories. After much deliberation, he decided that ignoring the issue would do no favors for anyone and wanted to work hard to bring our modern world into the same world as the main characters. Outside of specifics like Covid and BLM, the show also focuses on real-life obstacles like adoption, family tension, mental health struggles, and body image issues. In the mood for a good cry? This Is Us is guaranteed to fulfill that need relatively quickly.


Photo Credit: Deadline

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The Fosters

ABC Family's The Fosters is a feel-good, family-friendly, heartwarming show that is also bringing awareness to the complexities of LGTBQIA+ families and foster care. In a nutshell, the show is about an interracial, lesbian couple who are raising a mixture of biological, adopted, and fostered children in the modern world. A pretty long nutshell I know. Needless to say, the show challenges the picture of a "typical" family and the difficulties that come along with it. Steph (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) may not be perfect parents, but it is clear throughout the show that they value each of their childrens' individualities and heritages as they work to ensure they remain connected with their culture and ethnicity. The show also effectively showcases the disproportionate effects of foster care placement on minority children. Even though The Fosters may not be on Netflix anymore, it is worth finding another way to stream the 5 seasons of the show. 

How 'The Fosters' Will Say Goodbye and Set Up Its Spinoff - Variety

Photo Credit: variety.com

Orange Is The New Black

Yes, Orange is the New Black is wildly hilarious and sometimes a bit jarring, but it is also bringing awareness to issues like mass incarceration, racism, and systemic corruption. The show deals with white privilege and racism through the contrasting treatment of Litchfield's white inmates versus black inmates. Through the intentional abuse and manipulation of the inmates by Litchfield's own warden, Joe Caputo, the show also deals with issues of systemic and corporate corruption. Even when Caputo is aware of the issues at hand, he takes advantage of his power by not only turning a blind eye but further enforcing the systemic abuse in place at Litchfield. The show touches on mental health through the storyline of Suzanne Warren, AKA "Crazy Eyes" and even makes references to the atrocious murders of individuals like Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Michael Brown through the killing of one of the show's most beloved characters.


Image Credit: denofgeek.com

Reshaping How We Watch TV

Want to read more awesome blogs about how the TV and film industries are gaining interest from their viewers? Here are 5 more blogs you can read to freshen up on your knowledge:

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