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8 reasons everyone should be watching ABC Family

Ever since The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and maybe even before that, ABC Family has gotten a bad rep. Its shows aren’t known for winning Emmys, and most people don’t think of ABC Family as a network for a good TV shows—only a place to watch their favorite movies and to catch some Gilmore Girls reruns.

Recently, however, the world is finally catching on to how great ABC Family’s programming is. Between having shows that are partially done in sign language to shows that deal with sexuality and gender to more lighthearted shows that just make you laugh. ABC Family has built a lineup that is sure to entertain, be thought-provoking, and keep fans coming back for more.

If you’re not convinced yet, here’s a list to prove why you should be tuning in:

1. They aired the youngest same-sex kiss on TV ever.


On The Fosters, one of the main characters, Jude, and his friend Connor, finally kissed (at least onscreen; it wasn’t their first kiss). Whether you agree with the kiss or not, it definitely sparked conversation and, more than that, was historical. History is being made on this channel. Just think about that.

2. They really don’t shy away from the tough stuff.


On Switched at Birth, they did a whole storyline on campus rape and how the lines can get really blurred when alcohol gets involved. There was no beating around the bush. Plus, they spent more than just one episode on it, which was great.

3. Honestly, they don’t.


Cancer? Sure, they’ll talk about. Scratch that—they’ll make a whole show about it. Although what makes Chasing Life so great is, while cancer is of course a major part of the show, that’s not the only thing going on. There are so many other things going on in main character April’s life that her cancer is only one part of it (albeit a big part).

4. Their casts are pretty diverse.

The Fosters

Sure, there’s still more work that could be done. But ABC Family is adding color to its network, and that’s great to see.

5. They’ve brought deaf culture into the mainstream.


Before Switched at Birth, fewer people were trying to learn sign language, and fewer people had any idea what a cochlear implant was—and why there was so much debate around it. Now a lot of people want to know more about deaf culture, learn how to sign, and even become interpreters. That’s pretty cool.

6. They know how to do comedy.


Young and Hungry, Babby Daddy, and Melissa & Joey are comedy gold and what’s great is they’re all different (although there are a lot of blondes). Emily Osment, specifically, is killing it on Young and Hungry, as is Kim Whitley. These two, along with the rest of the cast, will keep you laughing the whole half-hour.

7. Speaking of awesome casts …


All these shows have some great actors. Whether you think the Pretty Little Liars plot is a bit ridiculous or not, these girls have done a lot of good acting on the show over the years. Besides PLL, there are a number of great actors on ABC Family, including Marlee Matlin (Oscar winner), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), and so many more.

8. Finally, it’s a new kind of family.


On The Fosters, the family consists of biracial moms who have a biological son, three adopted kids, and one foster child. Switched at Birth brought together two very different families through one hospital’s mistake. The Chasing Life family has its own special setup, as do the families on Melissa & Joey and Babby Daddy.

ABC Family has created progressive, moving, hilarious, and thought-provoking shows that define family in very different ways—and that’s pretty amazing.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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