Independence Day 2018 isn't going to be the most flag-waving and fireworks-shooting 4th of July in American history. It feels more like a time for contemplation. So if you want to stay inside on the couch and watch some shows that make you think about what it means to be an American, here are some suggestions for what to stream on Netflix.

<em>The Andy Griffith Show</em>The Andy Griffith Show

The Andy Griffith Show
The most classic "simpler times" show there is. This is what America's most idealized self-image looks like. If Mayberry really was the typical American small town, life would be great. Watch

<em>Black Lightning</em>Black Lightning

Black Lightning
This CW show is new to Netflix and celebrates truth, justice and the American way in an unusually clear-eyed way for a superhero show. Watch

<em>Five Came Back</em>Five Came Back

Five Came Back
Meryl Streep narrates this documentary series about five legendary directors — John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens — who made documentary films that galvanized America during World War II. Watch


This Netflix original comedy — which just returned for its second season — celebrates five things America loves: underdog stories, entrepreneurship, nostalgia, pro wrestling and being a terrible selfish person, but funny. Watch

<em>One Day At A Time</em>One Day At A Time

One Day at a Time
The most genuine portrait of an American family on TV right now. Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado) is a nurse and a veteran, so thank her for her service. Watch

<em>Parks and Recreation</em>Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation
Pawnee, Indiana, is weirdly true-to-life in that it's a failing municipality full of idiots, but it's also full of proud people who love and believe in the idea of democracy and community. Watch


If you want a more traditionally patriotic show, you could do worse than Shooter, an action-packed series that stars Ryan Phillippe as a Marine sniper fighting to protect his flag and family. Watch

<em>TURN: Washington's Spies</em>TURN: Washington's Spies

TURN: Washington's' Spies
Perfect for the 4th of July because it's actually set during the Revolutionary War. It tells the story of the Culper Ring, which helped feed information to George Washington about the British Army in the New York area. It's a historical tale about some of the first American heroes. Watch

<em>The War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick</em>The War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

The War
Of Ken Burns' war documentaries (the others being The Civil War and The Vietnam War), this seven-part documentary about World War II is the one that will make you most proud to be an American. It looks at the war effort through the eyes of four quintessential American towns. Watch

<em>The West Wing</em>The West Wing

The West Wing
This fantasy series about a functioning federal government is another perfect "celebrate the idea of America" show. Watch