Yes, we can: 10 shows that challenge America to be better

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The Handmaid’s Tale — “Night” — Episode 110 — Serena Joy confronts Offred and the Commander. Offred struggles with a complicated, life-changing revelation. The Handmaids face a brutal decision. Offred (Elisabeth Moss), shown. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

This July 4, celebrate by watching something subtly patriotic. These 10 series don’t blindly praise America, but instead push our country to be a haven for everyone.

Patriotism isn’t one-size-fits-all; there are plenty of different ways to express love or appreciation for a country. In fact — and this may be shocking — you can be patriotic by criticizing your nation.

This Independence Day, which will be defined by abhorrent treatment of immigrant families, a revived Muslim ban and a leader currently engaged in feuds with both Jimmy Fallon and Harley-Davidson, it’s important to remember there is nothing wrong with wanting America to be better. It can and should be better.

Wanting your nation to progress and to be all that it purports to be and more is a good thing. America pats itself on the back for being a free country; a place where anyone from anywhere can make their dreams come true — but that’s not the reality. If you’re a rich, white, straight cisgender man, you’ll probably be fine. If you’re not, life can be precarious.

So, speaking out about the United States’ hypocrisy is exactly what citizens who love America should be doing.

Pop culture seems to agree: A certain “we’re capable of more” sentiment has pervaded television storytelling lately. And in honor of July 4th, we’ve put together 10 recommendations for those of you who want to celebrate our nation’s independence by watching some subtly patriotic TV.