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Top 10 Shows to Watch If You Want a Good Cry

VO: Alexandra Maynard WRITTEN BY: Francesca LaMantia
Just let it all out. For this list we’ll be looking at those TV shows destined to give you a good hard cry. In order to explain why these shows are so darn sad, keep in mind we’ll be delving into a couple spoilers. Our list includes The Handmaid’s Tale, 13 Reasons Why, Shameless, The Fosters, One Tree Hill and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Shows to Watch If You Want A Good Cry.
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Top 10 Shows to Watch If You Want A Good Cry



Just let it all out. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Shows to Watch If You Want A Good Cry.

For this list we’ll be looking at those TV shows destined to give you a good hard cry. In order to explain why these shows are so darn sad, keep in mind we’ll be delving into a couple spoilers.


#10: “Saving Hope” (2012-17)


Being a hospital drama, it’s expected that there’s a lot about this show that might make you cry. Patients die, doctors face life and death decisions, miraculous last-minute, lifesaving treatments. But this show kicks it up a notch. It starts when Chief of Surgery, Charlie Harris, is in a terrible car accident on his way to his wedding with fellow doctor Alex Reid. Instead of vowing to spend their lives together, she must try to save his. This show gives you no breathing room before getting into the heartstring tugging. While Charlie’s body is trapped in a coma, his spirit roams the halls of Hope Zion Hospital, interacting with the spirits of other patients.



#9: “The Handmaid’s Tale” (2017-)


The premise of this show pretty much says it all. It takes place in a version of America that has been taken over by a totalitarian regime that treats women as property and forces them to become sexual servants. Women have no rights and aren't even allowed to have their own names. It follows Offred, who attempts to challenge the system and find the daughter that was taken from her. The graphic scenes and dark storylines will either have you ready to weep or fight the patriarchy. Most likely both.



#8: “13 Reasons Why” (2017-)


Basically, every episode of this harrowing drama is designed to destroy you. Knowing that Hannah dies going into it doesn't help at all. This show centers around the idea that all of the people in her life contributed in some big way or in some small way to her death. It's all about accountability and the way we treat each other. Watching Clay and the other characters deal with their grief, and reevaluate the way they act toward others, will have your tear ducts on overdrive.


#7: “Shameless” (2011-)


This show is a bit of a roller coaster. Sometimes it can be side-splittingly funny, and other times it’ll have you reaching for the tissues. Though watching the mishaps of the dysfunctional Gallagher family can provide a lot of laughs, some of the best moments are when the show gets deep. The Gallaghers are a complicated family, and watching their lives unfold, whether it’s Fiona dealing with her train wreck parents or Ian struggling with his sexuality, will hit you right in the feels. And it hurts so good.



#6: “The Fosters” (2013-18)


This show is not just your average family drama because the Adams Fosters are no ordinary family. This show centers around a family of, you guessed it, foster kids, and their two moms. It is chock-full of all the emotion you can expect from any other family drama, ranging from Lena and Stef struggling to raise a house full of teenagers, to high school heartbreak, to teenage rebellion. But add onto that all of the confusing emotions that Callie and her siblings experience as foster kids, and cue the waterworks.



#5: “One Tree Hill” (2003-12)


All this teenage angst and heartbreak tugs right at your heartstrings. Even through all the overdramatic character arcs and sometimes completely unrealistic storylines, the emotion is so real you can’t help but feel it. This show will have you balling in moments like the school shooting episode or at Q’s funeral, but it will also have you happy crying in moments like when Nathan finally makes it to the NBA, or when Lucas and Peyton finally get married. There's just so much tragedy and beauty in Tree Hill.


#4: “Parenthood” (2010-15)


Part of what makes this show so emotional is how relatable it is. Unlike a lot of the other shows on this list that have so much over-the-top drama, and stories that stretch your suspension of disbelief, this show is very grounded. The Bravermans are an average family with average problems. Sarah struggles as a single mom, Adam and Kristina deal with Max’s Asperger’s, Amber, Drew, and Haddie suffer through growing up. They feel so much like a real family you just can't help but feel for them.



#3: “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-)


Speaking of over-the-top dramas, this show is definitely one that will overwork those tear ducts. In any hospital drama you can expect a lot of unfortunate deaths, as well as lifesaving miracles, but this show takes it to another level. If you think that the life and death situations of the patients of the hospital are tear-jerking, it pales in comparison to the lives of the doctors. The large cast of medical professionals go through so many broken hearts, crushed dreams, and dramatic character deaths, we suggest stocking up on the tissues before you binge-watch this one.



#2: “Six Feet Under” (2001-05)


It's a show about a family-run funeral home, so we’re sure you can imagine that it deals with a lot of death. But more than simply dramatizing death, this show philosophizes about death in a way that most other shows don’t. It may seem that owning and running a funeral home has desensitized the Fisher family, but quite the contrary. Their morbid jobs mean that they feel everything even more intensely. Delving so deeply into death, grief, and mortality will make the viewer emotional too.



Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“A Million Little Things” (2018-)



“Rectify” (2013-16)


“BoJack Horseman” (2014-)



#1: “This Is Us” (2016-)


This is the perfect show to watch if you want a good cry. Damn near every episode has you bawling in the best possible way. It’s almost as if the writers developed some sort of formula they apply to each episode to achieve maximum amounts of waterworks. There are some seriously tragic character deaths, and unpacking of emotional baggage, but sometimes just a touching moment between the characters will hit you right in the feels. And with the nonlinear way the timeline works, sometimes you’ll catch yourself crying about an event and you’re not even entirely sure what exactly went down yet. Who knew being uplifted could make you sob so hard?

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