There is no show like This Is Us on television; it's a wholesome family show that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be angry all before the hour is up.
However, there are many shows that come close to giving you those same fuzzy feelings and will have you falling in love with the cast as quickly as you fell in love with Pearsons.
While we're waiting for This Is Us Season 3 to boot back up this September, and no longer want to watch This Is Us online, you can binge watch these shows.
They'll help fill the void and guarantee an ugly-cry or two.
Before there was This Is Us, there was Parenthood. If you love This Is Us because of how much the Pearson family loves each other and enjoy a good cry then I suggest you meet the Bravermans. This family will leave you teary-eyed within five minutes of watching. You'll immediately start connecting with the characters and seeing parts of your own family in them. And if you need more convincing, it stars Lauren Graham who plays Lorelai Gilmore on the hit, Gilmore Girls.
Just the premise of the show makes us want to cry: a 20-something-year-old aspiring journalist finds her world is turned upside down when she is diagnosed with cancer. And while cancer in itself is always depressing, the beauty of the series is in how April Carver handles the diagnosis, battles the illness with determination and grace, and finds the will to live when it would be understandable for her to give up. Not to mention she has a good group of gals by her side!
One Tree Hill
What started as a story about two small-town step-brothers fighting over a spot on the high-school basketball team grew into a tearjerking drama filled with life lessons, suspenseful twists, betrayals, lifelong friendships and an emphasis on the importance of family. As longtime fans know, there is only one tree hill and it's your home.
Since we're on the topic, we have to include Gilmore Girls on this list. If by some chance you haven't gotten sucked in by the mother-daughter dynamic between Lorelai and Rory or by the small town charm, you need to run to Stars Hollow ASAP. Their swift dialogue and close relationship makes us want to be friends with them. It's actually the reason Netflix revived the show years later. Plus, this is the birthplace of our love for Milo Ventimiglia, who played bad boy Jess, and our coffee addiction.
Friday Night Lights
Even if football isn't your thing, you'll still be captivated by the high school football team at the heart of the show. There's definitely a camaraderie around sports, especially in a small town that obsesses over the local team. You'll get glossy-eyed as these characters deal with family hardships, failure, first love, grief and the realization that the glory of being a high school jock isn't forever.
Freeform shows are good at two things -- uniting people and making them cry. Two moms, Stef and Lena, raise a non-traditional family; some biological children, some adoptive and some fosters who have been damaged by the system. With such a mix, the painful storylines are aplenty and emotional struggles and societal issues are at the forefront.
Everwood is one of those classic WB shows that you need to watch once in your life. The series followed an esteemed brain surgeon and his two kids as he moved his flourishing Manhattan practice to the quirky mountain town in Colorado following his wife's death. Assimilating to small-town life proved more challenging and the "human-like" storylines left us weeping by the end of every episode. Not to mention it stars Chris Pratt, Paul Wesley, Justin Baldoni, and Emily van Camp before they made it "big."
13 Reasons Why
This is a newer addition to the list -- we're still waiting for season two -- but it's a difficult watch because of the suicide narrative. It's follows Clay, a boy crushing on Hannah, who tragically takes her own life and leaves behind tapes for him explaining why she it. Despite the desolate tone and a lack of the "family theme," it makes the list because it exposes and awareness to a reality teens are all too familiar with.
Jane the Virgin
Jane the Virgin is a show about a family. Period. They're the best depiction of a family who loves each other limitlessly on television. Don't be fooled by the silly title which undermines the shows intelligent storytelling, nor should you be swayed by the melodramatic situations that the Villaneuva women sometimes find themselves in. It's the shows way of finding comedy in tragedy and there's tons of it on this series -- the main character gets artificially inseminated in the first episode for goodness sakes!
I'm not overlooking what Stephen Collins did because yes, he's a monster, but I also don't want his despicable actions to ruin a good thing. And let's face it, 7th Heaven was a good thing. It was a family-centered drama that kept the faith and taught some valuable lessons. It realistically depicted the struggles of growing up while dealing with hot-button issues like pregnancy, underage drinking, and premarital sex. Not to mention it offered parents a platform to talk to their kids about these subjects which they oftentimes felt awkward addressing.
Much like the title depicts, the series focuses on the Johnsons, an African American family living in a mainly white setting which they hilariously navigate as they try to maintain their black identity. They laugh, they cry, they joke, they fight and they address controversial issues like police brutality and race relations. And we love every minute of it.
It's transparent (see what I did there?) that a show about a woman's transition is going to be exceptionally emotional. The show's soul lies within Jeffrey Tambor's Maura, who in the midst of her transition still prioritizes her family. She and her loving brood -- the kind you rarely see on TV -- serve as a prism to the struggles the trans community faces in the modern world. Considering how vital these storylines are, Tambor's sexual harassment claims were a huge blow, however, the show promises to continue on without him!
The Good Doctor
Unlike most medical shows, The Good Doctor became an instant breakout hit this year thanks to Freddie Highmore who plays a surgeon with autism. In the real-world, Shawn is socially awkward and unable to personally connect with anyone but in the medical field, his high functioning skills allow him to excel and save lives using methods other doctors are skeptical of.