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7 TV Families I'm Way Too Emotionally Invested In

Summer is in full swing, and with that comes a chance to catch up on all of my favorite television shows and maybe revisit a few modern day classics—and perhaps give my heart some time to return to its normal state. The spring season of television was so intense that toward the end I decided I just couldn't deal. I traded my dramas for reruns of "Fixer Upper" (such a good show right?) on HGTV. In fact, I'm still reeling from (SPOILER ALERT!) the loss of Dr. Shepherd and am trying to decide if I have the guts to quit the emotional roller coaster that is Grey's entirely.

There are also a few other fictitious families that have managed to sit with me long after the Netflix binge commenced.

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I've shed countless tears, even venturing into a full on ugly cry, all the while telling myself that this isn't real. But it feels so real. And I'm pretty sure that is what makes for good television. In an age where reality shows pollute our plasma TV screens, I celebrate the shows that tell actual stories—the ones that make us laugh, cry and then log on to Twitter to find camaraderie alongside those who, like us, are way too emotionally invested in fake families. Here are a few TV families that I'm mildly obsessed with:

1. The Shepherds/Greys from "Grey's Anatomy"

I have watched this love story unfold for what feels like my entire youth. Derek and Meredith were the one couple you couldn't help but root for. They have been through hell and back—together. And just as things were finally about to be (practically) perfect—just when I was going to thank Shonda Rhimes for being kinder to the hearts of viewers, she struck a blow I'm not sure I will ever recover from. There are two unwatched episodes on my DVR right now because I just can't. These two were supposed to be forever.

What kind of world do we live in when our favorite TV characters can't even get a happy ending? Actually, wait. There is this one family I know…

Image via ABC

2. The Bravermans from "Parenthood"

The Bravermans! They sort of got their happy ending. I needed a feel-good show after riding the emotional roller coaster of "Grey's Anatomy" and this was it. I sacrificed many hours of sleep as did my husband and anxiously watched through the final season. In a sense, their stories reminded me to keep my eyes on the most important thing in life: family. Because family is everything.

The Bravermans love each other so well and are just so relatable. They face trials but they forgive, and then they get back to loving.

I am pretty sure I cried every single episode but I wept (like a baby) in the final montage of the show and thank the writers for giving me the best ending in the history of TV. So many questions, ones I didn't even know I had, were answered. Still I have more. But in the meantime, may we stay "forever young."

Image via NBC

3. The Taylors from "Friday Night Lights"

Coach Taylor and his wife Tammy are the ideal couple. And they are such down-to-earth people. They embody so much of what it means to be a good parent. It means doing your very best, owning your mistakes and learning from them. They should also make you feel better about your own kids. If the Taylors can't raise perfect kids nobody can.

After getting to know them I contemplated moving to Texas because I could use a family like the Taylors in my life. I also decided that perhaps football wasn't so bad after all. I loved watching them navigate the various career and familial challenges they faced and cried when Coach changed the course of his dream to support his wife as she reached for her's. "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose."

Image via NBC/Photofest

4. The Popes from "Scandal"

I had to take a break from watching "Scandal" because I don't think I am emotionally strong enough to handle this most recent season of "Grey's" and "Scandal" at the same time. It has been a long time since Olivia left the nest, and watching the dynamics between her and her parents is enough to make me want to hug my own parents a little tighter. Goodness I wish that girl had stayed put while "standing in the sun" with Jake. (Honorable mention: The Montgomery/Reilly family from " Private Practice, " Addison, Jake and their sweet Henry. #wherearetheynow?)

Image via ABC

5. The Gilmores from "Gilmore Girls"

As a teenager, I loved watching Lorelai's relationship with Rory unfold. I remember thinking that Rory was so lucky. How awesome that this mother-daughter duo were so close. Everyone says you aren't supposed to be your kid's friend because what they need most is a parent, but Lorelai is both and rocking at it (and willing to apologize and make things right when she's not). In retrospect I love that she represents single mothers in such a positive way—her family's story speaks to the fact that a family's composition isn't as important as their commitment to one another.

Image via Gilmore Girls Facebook

6. The Simpsons from "The Simpsons"

I haven't watched this show in years but I've apparently got a soft spot for this Springfield family. I grew up with my dad watching the show and he always let us watch too, despite the fact that my mom thought it was too inappropriate for us. My brother and I thought it was the funniest show ever. Recently, my jaw dropped when I heard that Marge and Homer were going to break up in the upcoming season, I couldn't believe it and told my dad the first chance I got. Clearly I wasn't over them like I had thought. (Word is that's just a rumor. #HomerandMargeforever)

7. The Johnsons from "Black-ish"

The Johnsons are the family I turn to when I need a laugh. So much of television is serious. When I can't handle another show set in a hospital, over the course of a criminal investigation or when I am over crying all the tears—I check out what's going on in the Johnson household. Not only can I relate to a lot of the episodes, but also this is a show that, for the most part, my husband and I can also watch with our 10-year-old. The older I get the more I appreciate a good laugh especially alongside my favorite IRL people. (Honorable mention the Haung family from "Fresh off the Boat" and the Prichett family from "Modern Family"—both also laugh out loud funny.)

Image via ABC

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Thanks to these seven families (and most of all my real life one) life is pretty full right now. Truth be told, I'm not sure I can even handle getting emotionally invested in more make-believe people. Still, that doesn't mean I'm not open to trying. I haven't binge-watched a show on Netflix since I sobbed as the Taylors walked off the football field for the last time. So here I am, still trying to figure out what's next for me. What are your recommendations? Whether it's a new show or just a show that would simply be new to me, what television family is not to be missed?

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