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7 television series all parents should watch with their teens

Elisabeth Moss, left, and Ann Dowd in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” (George Kraychyk/Hulu/AP)

Recently I wrote a column for this newspaper on the seven movies all parents should watch with their teens. I enjoyed perusing the reader comments, with many people offering their own picks. And one person asked, “How about television series recommendations?”

Great idea. Here are my top seven.

“Roots.”  The miniseries based on Alex Haley’s novel first aired in 1977 and was remade in 2016. Both versions are excellent, but the original won nine Emmys.  It’s the story of a young man, Kunta Kinte, who is captured in Africa and sent to this country as a slave. The story follows Kinte for several decades, and depicts the brutality and depravity of slavery in the United States. There was a fervid debate recently in a town near mine in Vermont about a school’s use of “the Rebel” as a mascot. When asked, I would tell people, “Watch ‘Roots’ and then come back and tell me you are in favor of anything even remotely associated with the Confederate Rebels and how people of color were treated then.” (The school is now represented by the Wolves.) “Roots” also shows how black families supported and lifted each other even while enduring prejudice and savagery for generations.

“Battlestar Galactica.” The 1978 show was a cosmic flop, but the 2005 reboot ran for five years and was exceptional. It’s about robots who look like humans doing their best to exterminate the few thousand actual humans remaining. Yes, it’s a plot we’ve seen many times (in “Terminator ” and “Ex Machina,” for starters), but this is a bit different because it’s about humans who

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