The Best Mother-Daughter Shows to Watch on Mother’s Day on Netflix, Hulu, and More

Better Things, Gilmore Girls, Jane the Virgin, Mom, Never Have I Ever, One Day At A Time, Television News, The Golden Girls

You don’t have to be a mother or a daughter to appreciate a good mother-daughter pair. From the complicated to the heartfelt to everything in between, when done well, it’s the kind of dynamic that should be able to resonate with just about anyone who has ever had a parent or been one. The petty arguments, the uncomfortable conversations, the way daughters inherit traits from their mothers without realizing — there’s something familiar about all of it.

Whether you’re looking for something to watch with your mom or for something to watch when you miss her, or even just something to make you appreciate her a little more, read on for our list of the best mother-daughter shows on Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Gilmore Girls

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham, <em>Gilmore Girls</em>Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls

Watch it on: Netflix

If you can’t take a real-life vacation, a trip to Stars Hollow is the next-best thing. Gilmore Girls, as the title indicates, centers on three generations of women from the Gilmore family — Emily (Kelly Bishop), Lorelai (Lauren Graham), and Rory (Alexis Bledel) — as they navigate the many complications of mother-daughter relationships, with hours of laughs and tears shared along the way. The series is best known for its fast-paced and whip-smart dialogue and its characters’ endless pop culture trivia knowledge, but the real heart of the story exists in its emotional moments as the eponymous trio continue to discover themselves and one another. –Amanda Bell

Better Things

Mikey Madison, Olivia Edward, Pamela Adlon, and Hannah Alligood, <em>Better Things</em>Mikey Madison, Olivia Edward, Pamela Adlon, and Hannah Alligood, Better Things

Watch it on: Hulu

Pamela Adlon‘s bittersweet, semi-autobiographical dramedy about a single mom raising her three daughters while her own eccentric, demanding mother lives just across the street, is a show that spotlights the small, daily sacrifices parents willingly make for their children. Better Things‘ heroine Sam Fox, played by Adlon, constantly bickers with her kids over everything from secret pet adoption to the girls’ absent father, and the arguments can go from vicious blow-outs to deeply felt expressions of love in the blink of an eye. It’s real, it’s honest, it’s family. –Allison Picurro

Jane the Virgin

Andrea Navedo, Gina Rodriguez, Ivonne Coll, <em>Jane the Virgin</em>Andrea Navedo, Gina Rodriguez, Ivonne Coll, Jane the Virgin

Watch it on: Netflix

Yes, Jane the Virgin is about a young woman’s unplanned pregnancy. Yes, there are subplots involving an international drug ring, murder, and secret twin sisters. But the real reason to watch and keep coming back is because of the relationship at the show’s center. The tight bond between Jane (Gina Rodriguez), her mother Xiomara (Andrea Navedo), and her grandmother Alba (Ivonne Coll) carries Jane the Virgin forward in its twistiest moments. The fierce love and understanding between them provides a powerful display of what it’s like to be a maternal figure at any age and brings the telenovela down to earth. –Allison Picurro

Never Have I Ever

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, and Richa Moorjani, <em>Never Have I Ever</em>Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, and Richa Moorjani, Never Have I Ever

Watch it on: Netflix

Never Have I Ever deftly navigates some of the roughest parts of high school, but Devi’s (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) drama has a major difference from that of a typical teenager: She lost her dad abruptly and tragically, leaving her and her mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) behind to pick up the pieces. The two have a fraught relationship; Devi feels her mom is too controlling, while Nalini feels overwhelmed as a suddenly single parent, and it asks the difficult question of whether it is possible to love your mom but not like her. Because of that, when Never Have I Ever finally lets the two connect, it becomes the most impactful moment of the series. –Allison Picurro

The Golden Girls

The Golden GirlsThe Golden Girls

Watch it on: Hulu

This classic show about Florida’s sassiest quartet of seniors remains essential viewing for good reason. There was Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur), a cowl neck-loving school teacher whose refusal to suffer fools was goals, and her mother Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty), who could always be counted on for a deliciously deep insult. Meanwhile, Blanche’s (Rue McClanahan) sex positivity was well ahead of its time, and who didn’t love doe-eyed Rose (Betty White) and her wild little stories about St. Olaf? Most importantly, The Golden Girls taught us that family doesn’t necessarily require a biological connection. –Amanda Bell

One Day at a Time

Justina Machado, Isabella Gomez, Rita Moreno, Marcel Ruiz, <em>One Day at a Time</em>Justina Machado, Isabella Gomez, Rita Moreno, Marcel Ruiz, One Day at a Time

Watch it on: Netflix, Hulu

The reboot of Norman Lear‘s 1975 sitcom of the same name is known for addressing larger issues like cultural norms, gender, and race, and the impact they have on everyday life, but One Day at a Time also has complex mother-daughter relationships at its center. Through Lydia (Rita Moreno), Penelope (Justina Machado) and Elena (Isabella Gomez), the show explores what happens when parents are forced to confront the expectations they have for their kids, and how doing so can actually benefit a relationship in the long run. –Allison Picurro


Anna Faris and Allison Janney, <em>Mom</em>Anna Faris and Allison Janney, Mom

Watch it on: Hulu, CBS

Not every mother-daughter connection is going to be quite as cozy and cheery as the rest, and Mom presents a pair that have some very deep issues to wade through as they begin sharing space, including struggles with sobriety and dysfunctional relationships. But Christy (Anna Faris) and her passive-aggressive mom Bonnie (Allison Janney) still find those moments of levity and love amid all of their bickering. –Amanda Bell

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