30-minute streamers you can watch while your kids fall asleep

Julia Smith
Julia Smith
Julia is a Sydney born-and-raised mum of three girls. With over twenty years in the media industry, including four years with parenting publishers, she’s passionate about creating entertaining content that connects with parents. When she’s not working or parenting, you’ll find her binge watching TV and revenge-procrastinating about bedtime… or nerding out at gigs...
Created on May 24, 2024 · 7 mins read

Are your kids at an age where they refuse to head off for bedtime, but you really want to switch on the telly to switch your brain? No one wants to traumatise the kiddies by having them accidentally walk in on an episode of Game of Thrones or Outlander.


We’ve put together a collection of tried, tested, and adored 30-minute streamers that relax you without leading to nightmares and years of therapy for your kids. While these aren’t appropriate to watch WITH your children (unless they’re over 14), they’re free from violence or graphic scenes kids might glimpse on the way for a cuddle. 

So, grab your Oodie and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), and settle in to switch off your brain. Here are 10 thirty-minute classics to binge without guilt.

Friends


Let’s start with an oldie, but a goodie. Re-watching Friends is like a nice warm hug for us older millennials. Sure, it certainly lacks diversity and some of the humour hasn’t aged well (jokes about Chandler’s dad included), but being transported back to a time when life was free of smartphones is good for the soul. It’s just a bunch of mates hanging out at the coffee house, navigating life as hot twenty-somethings in New York in the Nineties. The episodes are short, fun, easy to watch, and guaranteed to make you laugh. 

Parental verdict: With a PG rating, there are sexual references and themes that aren’t appropriate for younger kids.


The Office (UK)


With only 2 limited seasons and a Christmas episode, you’ll get through this classic fast. Released in 2001, The Office (UK) pioneered the well-loved ‘mockumentary’ style comedy. Following the day-to-day lives of office employees of a paper company in Slough, England, this show will have you covering your eyes as you laugh/ cry through some of the best-ever cringe-comedy. While darker than the subsequent and long-running US version of the show, the original Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant masterpiece still stands and will resonate with anyone who’s ever worked in an office. 

Parental verdict: Some spicy language at times makes this one appropriate for older teens and adults, but once again, no violence or sex scenes to scare the little kids if they happen to hop out of bed for a cup of water or a hug.


Fisk


This is subtle Aussie humour at its finest. The episodes are short and punchy, and the way they work consistent jokes throughout the seasons makes this one worth a binge. Kitty Flannigan plays Helen Tudor-Fisk, a down-on-her-luck divorced lawyer who lands herself a job as a suburban probate lawyer. The show follows her as she settles into her new job, and you get to know all the ridiculous characters in her life. The show is a must for anyone who loves dry Aussie humour. 

Parental verdict: Good old-fashioned fun. No sex or violence, just a bit of crude humour and nudity from Glen Robbins.

Parks and Recreation


Full of loveable characters and a killer cast including Amy Pohler, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe, and Aubrey Plaza, this one will warm the cuckolds of your skeptical heart. Shot in the mockumentary style made famous by The Office, (with a side of political satire), it follows the life and times of the staff in the Pawnee Parks and Recreation office. With 7 seasons to stream, I found season one was slow to warm up, but stick with it, and by the end, you’ll be singing ‘Bye Bye Lil Sebastian’ and sharing ‘Galentine’s Day’ dinners with your besties.

Parental verdict: While this one won’t scar your kids for life and most of it will go over their heads, it does contain sexual references and crude humour which isn’t ideal for kids under 12.

Colin from Accounts


One of the best Aussie comedies of recent years, this ‘will they or won’t they’ romcom sees a couple thrown in together to look after an injured dog after a boob-flashing incident (yes, you read that right). Real-life married couple Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer play the leads and their on-screen chemistry makes this show so compelling to watch. Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny… especially if you don’t mind a spot of toilet humour. Series 2 debuts on Binge from 30 May.

Parental verdict: Full of crass humour, sexual references (dick pics, boobs and drug references), this one is probably the spiciest show on this list. Definitely not for under fifteens. But if you want to give it a watch (which you should), keep the remote handy just in case.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Who doesn’t love a cop show!? This much-loved sitcom follows the detectives of the Brooklyn 99 Police Precinct. The characters are so well written and the cast bounce so effortlessly off each other that you’ll find yourself totally invested. The comedy veers on the side of ridiculous at times, but that’s the joy of it… title of your sex tape (for those who know the show already). These short and fun episodes will have you clicking ‘Next Episode’ until your eyes can’t stay open any longer.

Parental verdict: Being a police show, some of the themes they cover aren’t appropriate for younger kids. Plus, there is a healthy side of crude humour and sexual references. Generally recommended for aged 12+.

The Good Place


 A slightly more cerebral comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. I’ve never seen another show like it with its twists and turns. Kristen Bell plays Elanor Shellstrop who ends up in ‘The Good Place’ following her death. She discovers she’s not supposed to be there… and not everything is as it should be. It’ll have you pondering philosophical and moral questions, and laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

Parental verdict: Nothing explicit is shown violence or sex wise… but themes explored and crude humour make this one inappropriate for under 12s.

Schitt’s Creek


If you’re after a comedy with heart, this is the one for you. It follows a super wealthy family who – after falling victim to fraud are left penniless overnight – are forced to move to the small country town that their father once bought as a joke – Schitt’s Creek. It’s a classic fish-out-of water comedy that is filled with wonderfully well written characters and has left us with enough memes to last a lifetime. It’s offbeat and quirky humour pairs well with the wholesome inclusion messages and while it might feel like a bit of a slow-burn, the Rose family and the cast of locals will feel like part of your family by the time you finish the series.

Parental verdict: Nothing too graphic or spicy here, just a few themes that make it more appropriate for kids over 13.

Community


If you just want to get lost in something entirely silly, then Community is for you. Running for 6 seasons starting in 2009, this show follows the exploits of a group of community college students on campus. The characters are so ridiculous and out there, but that’s where the magic happens. Starring Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover and Ken Jeong (among others) this one is a real ‘switch the brain off’ comedy. PERFECT after a long day.

Parental verdict: Crass humour and sexual references make this another one that is suitable only for over 14s, but perfect for popping on the telly as your kids nod off in their rooms.

Gavin and Stacey


Comedy magic. This classic UK comedy is so well written, with a host of loveable characters that make this show infinitely quotable. With only 3 seasons and an extra Christmas Special, it’s always left fans wanting more and writers and stars James Corden and Ruth Jones have just announced the production of the last-ever episode. It follows the whirlwind romance of Gavin and Stacey, but ironically the show ends up being about their families and friends as they navigate their relationship across England and Wales. Get yourself caught up and ready for the new episode! 

Parental verdict: The show is rated M as it does contain a few sexual references, mild nudity and references to drinking and smoking etc. But there is no violence or explicit sex scenes, making it suitable for those over 15.

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