Best Shows Like The Fosters on HBO Max Must Watch 2023

If you have watched it, you would know what the hype is all about, but if you still haven’t, what are you waiting for? Please take it as a sign to watch a show that will stay with you forever, regardless of your age, because it has something for everyone.

Anyways, alongside The Fosters, there are a lot of shows that will surely be enough to get you hooked with their full of romance, drama, excitement, and emotional plots. The Fosters was successful for several reasons, but one of the biggest was the show’s willingness to tell gritty, real-life stories that are rarely seen on television or in the media.

We have made a list of the Best Shows Like The Fosters on HBO Max Must Watch 2023, but before that, let’s look at The Fosters.

The Fosters Summary

The story revolves around Leena and Steph, a lesbian couple who first adopted Mexican twins Mariana(Cierra Ramirez) & Jesus(Noah Centino) and later adopted troubled orphan siblings Jude & Callie(Maia Mitchel).

The character Callie can also be called the central character, as most of the story in the show is linked to her getting in trouble and falling in love with Brandon(Steph’s biological son).

The couple also fights their extremist potential for Callie’s adoption case while maneuvering through her teenage sweetheart and high-school drama.

The show is filled with moments of wholesomeness and vulnerable moments where it is truly shown how difficult it can be to be parents of a group of teenagers. It was a high watermark for Freeform shows, and the channel hasn’t been able to top it since. 

Good Trouble (2019)

Callie and Mariana (main characters from The Fosters) ‘s lives in Los Angeles are chronicled in “Good Trouble,” which follows the two on their next exciting journey. Mariana and Callie endure inequality and misogyny in their respective fields: Mariana in the male-dominated world of technology and Callie in the harsh reality of the legal system as a federal judge’s law clerk.

Callie and Mariana quickly learn that life in downtown Los Angeles’ The Coterie is a common living space for around 12 people from different walks of life. It is not as glamorous as they had hoped, but they find a family they never asked for in the face of the Coterie members.

DirectorJoanna Johnson, Peter Paige, Bradley Bredeweg
Release DateJanuary 8, 2019
GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
CastCierra Ramirez, Zuri Adele, Sherry Cola, Emma Hunton, Tommy Martinez
Character NamesMariana Adams Foster, Malika Williams, Alice Kwan, Davia Moss, Gael Martinez
IMDb Rating7.5/10
Famous Dialogue“You gotta be patient. Work harder than the boys and eventually you’ll get noticed for it. In the meantime, make a few allies; not every guy is a jerk.”
Shooting LocationSanta Clarita, California, USA

Parenthood (2010)

If you missed The Fosters, you should catch up on Parenthood, even though it isn’t aimed at the same Gen-Z and young adult audience. In Parenthood, the Braverman kids are all grown up and dealing with their versions of the good and bad of having a family.

The show, spawned from the 1989 movie of the same name, updates the family’s story to the present day. Like The Fosters, Parenthood was always bold in tackling tough topics or diversifying its cast.

The protagonist of the first season is a young child who learns he has Asperger’s syndrome. Divorce, discovering you’re a parent to a young child, adoption, and the inherent difficulties of parenting are also explored throughout the series.

DirectorJason Katims
Release DateMarch 2, 2010
GenreComedy, Drama
CastPeter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter
Character NamesAdam Braverman, Sarah Braverman, Crosby Braverman, Kristina Braverman
IMDb Rating8.3/10
Famous Dialogue“When it comes to testosterone, the Braverman men are blessed with an abundance of riches.”
Shooting LocationBerkeley, California, USA

Party of five (1994)

In contrast to the original Party of Five, set in the ’90s, the 2020 remake focuses on the Acosta family, one of the best shows like The Fosters on HBO Max. A Mexican immigrant whose parents are suddenly deported from the United States. Without their parents’ guidance, Emilio (Brandon Larracuente) ‘s, the oldest sibling, makes sure his younger siblings stick together and succeed. The Fosters and Party of Five both tackle serious issues.

In addition to addressing such pressing issues as identity and other forms of social politics, the film depicts the devastating effects of deportation on families.

DirectorChristopher Keyser and Amy Lippman
Release DateSeptember 12, 1994
GenreDrama, Family
CastScott Wolf, Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Paula Devicq, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jeremy London, Scott Grimes
Character NamesCharlie Salinger, Bailey Salinger, Julia Salinger, Claudia Salinger, Kirsten
IMDb Rating6.8/10
Famous Dialogue“The only thing that I can do… The only thing I can do for you is telling you that we’re gonna be okay. Because we are, the five of us. I don’t know how I know it. I just do. We’re gonna be okay. And maybe, if you know that… you’ll be okay too.”
Shooting Location2311 Broadway, San Francisco, California, USA

Modern Love (2019)

The Los Angeles families of Jay Pritchett (and his offspring) span the spectrum from nuclear to blended to same-sex. Jay Pritchett, the family’s patriarch, has a son from his first marriage and another from Gloria Delgado Pritchett’s first marriage.

Claire, Jay’s daughter, left the home front to take over the family business, Pritchett’s Closets, and Blinds, once he retired. Her husband, Phil Dunphy, is a realtor and a self-proclaimed “cool dad” who also does magic as a hobby.

They’ve spawned a trio of offspring. Mitchell Tucker, Jay’s son and Cameron Tucker’s husband has adopted a Vietnamese girl named Lily Tucker-Pritchett. The show’s title alludes to the modernity of the family it depicts, and the scenarios described in each episode are drawn from actual life.

DirectorChristopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan
Release DateOctober 18, 2019
GenreComedy, Romance
CastEd O’Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Character NamesJay Pritchett, Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Claire Dunphy, Phil Dunphy
IMDb Rating8.5/10
Famous Dialogue“The minute they got rid of rotary phones, everything went to hell.”
Shooting Location10201 Pico Boulevard, Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA

The O.C. (2003)

From 2003 until 2007, The O.C. entertained audiences as a contemporary teen soap opera. The show chronicled the intertwined destinies of three families living in Orange County, California.

However, the series mostly follows high school students from the affluent Newport Beach community. The O.C., like The Fosters, followed a troubled youngster who a wealthy and loving family adopted.

Furthermore, the sitcom frequently made jokes about the contrast in family values between the “ideal” Cohen family and the nearby worldly families.

DirectorJosh Schwartz
Release DateAugust 5, 2003
GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
CastMischa Barton, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Ben McKenzie
Character NamesMarissa Cooper, Seth Cohen, Sandy Cohen, Kirsten Cohen, Ryan Atwood
IMDb Rating7.5/10
Famous Dialogue“It’s fate. It’s destiny. We both like burritos.”
Shooting LocationRedondo Beach, California, USA

Switched at Birth (2011)

The American teen and family drama series Switched at Birth takes place in Kansas City and centers upon two teenagers who had been changed at birth and grew up in vastly different social and economic contexts: one in a wealthy suburb and the other in a low-income urban neighborhood.

The plot’s setup compels the female protagonists to recognize their commonalities and celebrate their distinctions.

The series aired for five seasons, and its debut had the greatest ratings ever for an ABC Family series at the time.

DirectorSean Berdy
Release DateJune 6, 2011
GenreDrama, Family, Romance
CastKatie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Constance Marie, D.W. Moffett, Lea Thompson
Character NamesKatie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Constance Marie, D.W. Moffett, John Kennish, Kathryn
IMDb Rating7.7/10
Famous Dialogue“It’s funny how the darkest moments of your life can bring about the best ones.”
Shooting Location918 N Alpine Dr, Beverly Hills, California, USA

This is Us (2016)

The critically acclaimed This Is Us drama on NBC is fantastic and a good replacement for fans of The Fosters. Like The Fosters, This Is Us explores and questions conventional notions of the family through the lens of adoption.

The show also addresses themes of mental health, obesity, and the consequences of parental death among young adults.

DirectorDan Fogelman
Release DateSeptember 20, 2016
GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
CastMilo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz
Character NamesJack Pearson, Rebecca Pearson, Randall Pearson, Kate Pearson
IMDb Rating8.7/10
Famous Dialogue“When you lose someone suddenly and unexpectedly, it hurts differently.”
Shooting LocationLos Angeles, California, USA

On My Block (2018)

Another one of the best shows like The Fosters on HBO Max ‘On My Block‘, four smart, streetwise pals go through high school together, experiencing joy, sorrow, and novelty.

This coming-of-age comedy follows four friends named Monse, Ruby, Jamal, and Cesar as they navigate the trials of puberty and daily life in a primarily Hispanic and black section of South Central Los Angeles. Critical acclaim was given to the series for its multiethnic cast, plots, and acting.

DirectorLauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft
Release DateMarch 16, 2018
GenreComedy, Drama
CastSierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, Jessica Marie Garcia
Character NamesMonse Finnie, Ruby Martinez, Jamal Turner, Cesar Diaz, Jasmine
IMDb Rating7.9/10
Famous Dialogue“It’s all messed up and it’s always your fault. And you never get any of the love.”
Shooting LocationBurbank, California, USA

One Tree Hill (2003)

One Tree Hill, like The Fosters, established a high standard for C.W.’s teen drama genre. High school kids in Tree Hill, North Carolina, were the show’s focus and always worked through problems individually and collectively.

The fact that two of the pupils at Tree Hill are half brothers who loathe each other added complexity to the family dynamic, much like it did with The Fosters. Drug abuse, teen pregnancy, bullying, and school shootings are other issues the show tackles.

DirectorMar Schwahn
Release DateSeptember 23, 2003
GenreDrama, Romance, Sports
CastBethany Joy Lenz, Sophia Bush, James Lafferty, Lee Norris, Paul Johansson, Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton, Antwon Tanner
Character NamesLucas Scott, Nathan Scott, Peyton Sawyer, Haley James Scott
IMDb Rating7.7/10
Famous Dialogue“Happiness is not a destination. It is a mood, it is not permanent. It comes and goes and if people thought that way then maybe people would find happiness more often.”
Shooting LocationWilmington, North Carolina, USA

Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001)

Canadian teen drama T.V. series Degrassi: The Next Generation is the fourth installment in the long-running Degrassi franchise, which premiered in 1979.

It was a direct sequel to Degrassi High, and it followed a new group of students as they navigated issues like sexuality, teen pregnancy, bullying, date rape, substance abuse, self-esteem, sexual orientation, domestic violence, gang violence, self-injury, suicide, and mental illness at the fictional Degrassi Community School.

Some of the characters from the first two seasons made a cameo or recurring appearance in the third season as adults. During its first several seasons on the air, it consistently ranked as Canada’s most-watched drama series.

DirectorLinda Schuyler and Kit Hood
Release DateApril 1, 2002
GenreDrama, Romance
CastStefan Brogren, Aislinn Paul, Melinda Shankar, A.J. Saudin, Shane Kippel
Character NamesArchie ‘Snake’ Simpson, Clare Edwards, Alli Bhandari, Connor Deslaurier
IMDb Rating7.6/10
Famous Dialogue“Four years of high school. Will you spend them cool with us? Or as a social loser outcast with her? You decide.”
Shooting LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of heartwarming family dramas like “The Fosters,” HBO Max offers an exceptional lineup of must-watch best shows like The Fosters on HBO Max that are sure to captivate your emotions and keep you hooked throughout 2023.

These series masterfully blend elements of love, drama, and romance, creating captivating narratives that explore the complexities of family relationships, personal growth, and the challenges life throws at us.

In 2023, don’t miss out on these remarkable series that share the same spirit as “The Fosters,” and allow yourself to be moved by their compelling stories of love, family, and the unbreakable bonds that tie us all together.


Farah is an entertainment journalist, loves to put her thoughts out there through colors and letters. She's a social bird, exploring through feed and people for entertainment

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