Between the zombie apocalypse of “The Walking Dead” and the serial killings of “Criminal Minds,” it's sometimes hard to find a TV show these days that isn’t all blood-and-guts.
That’s why we enlisted our friend Margaret Lyons, who writes about television for our partner Vulture.com, to highlight some of the more optimistic and upbeat shows on TV right now.
Jane the Virgin
I agree there are a lot of murder, crime, bleak-centric shows on TV right now, but there are a couple of gems that have a more upbeat attitude. "Jane The Virgin" airs on the CW [network] and it's sort of a telenovela, but it's also really charming and sweet and earnest. In terms of characters who have very respectable values, the show is a lot about decency and respect and loyalty and honesty. Our heroine, Jane, is one of those sorts of characters with the most integrity on TV right now. She's also funny and fun to be around and fun to watch. The show's not like a lecture on family values or something. In terms of characters who prioritize love and family, I think you're going to be hard pressed to find a show with a better focus on that than "Jane the Virgin."
If we're looking for a family of supportive characters, "Bob's Burgers" is my favorite on TV right now. It's about a family [that] really loves each other. My favorite part is the relationship between the siblings. They're all very strange in their own ways, but they're all a team. Usually on sitcoms the kids are at each others throats, or one is this kind of kid and the other is the opposite. On "Bob's Burgers," everyone just falls under the umbrella of weird individuals with particular passions and everyone takes each other's passions pretty seriously.
If we want to go to full earnestness, ABC Family's "The Fosters" is one of my favorite shows on TV right now. It centers on a foster family and their last name is Foster. It's a family headed up by an interracial lesbian couple, Steph and Lena. They have biological children, foster-to-adopt children and foster children living under this roof. What I like is that it's not corny, there are problems that people deal with. The message is there's no problem greater than the amount of support you can get for solving it. I cry at it a lot, but I also really respect how determined it is to show different kinds of families on TV, solving big problems in simple ways.