Literary TV Shows to Watch with Your Family on Thanksgiving

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you know what that means. A long weekend filled with family and food. But after the Thursday afternoon festivities have wrapped and turkey for breakfast stops sounding like a great idea, you’ll be left wondering how to fill the time. Why not share your love of reading and bond over a new favorite television show all at the same time? It’s the gift that keeps on giving because you know your parents are going to want to hop into a group text and ask when The Handmaid’s Tale is coming back. Who knew a conversation about Gilead could be so much fun?


The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale might feel like an intense show to binge with your family – especially when some folks are just barely escaping from their food comas – but it’s the perfect way to share your love of Margaret Atwood while having really important conversations about female autonomy. While creating the fictional world of Gilead, Atwood very deliberately only included rights violations that had already occurred in other parts of the world, stitching together the real into this dystopian nightmare. It’s a conversation starter for sure, not to mention an excellent, if not heartbreaking, piece of television.


Big Little Lies on HBO

You know your siblings have been waiting for you to log into your HBO GO account on their device, all in the hope that you’ll forget to log out. Let Christmas come early by watching Big Little Lies on your little sister’s iPad, but not before you make her promise to start a family book club filled with Liane Moriarty novels and other psychological thrillers. (You need someone to talk to about these books. There’s no way you’re waiting for HBO to pick up Truly Madly Guilty to series.) Revel in the incredible opening credits as you rewatch this perfect first season with your family. Those kitchens are incredible, but not as incredible as the way these women are written.


Pretty Little Liars on Freeform (streaming on Netflix)

If you’re looking for something to introduce your teenaged cousins to and want a show that’s equal parts campy and exciting, log onto Netflix and start watching all seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars, based on the series of the same name by Sara Shepard. Even if A’s identity has been spoiled for you, this show is intense and captivating. And it’s the perfect show to keep talking to your family about all year round. (Did we mention it’s seven entire seasons?) Want an even better way to keep the literary TV excitement at a low simmer all year round? Team up with some reluctant readers in the family and start a Pretty Little Liars book club. Instant family bonding!


YOU on Netflix

If you find yourself putzing around with your mom or older sister over Thanksgiving weekend and are eager for a show that you can watch the entirety of while still having intense conversations between episodes, YOU is the show for, well, you. The first season is based on the psychological thriller by Caroline Kepnes and is a seriously intense piece of television. It’s incredibly written, performed, and paced – while also being the kind of show that you can’t watch too close to bed time. We won’t give any spoilers here, but this show is creepy in an it-could-happen-to-you way. So cuddle up on the couch with your favorite women and start watching. And we totally endorse liberal use of the pause button – for conversation and deep breath breaks.