Children’s shows are no use, the vocabulary is just not for everyday life… unless of course you live in a world of magical dragons.
Most modern movies are spot on. Super clear mandarin. Some very useful stuff. I tend to enjoy the Rom-coms for Chinese. They seem to have the most real-life dialogue to my ears. And can actually be quite entertaining movies.
Besides the above, I love anything by Zhang YiMu. He is a genius film maker. Some of his earlier films give a real sense of culture, which is what I also want to pick up from Chinese movies. Even though I live in China, with the everyday life routines, I forget I’m in China sometimes. Good cultural movies like his bring me back to really appreciating China.
But it’s not only Mandarin as a language, and culture, that one gets, but also how it is used and in what context. Really helps learn appropriate sense stress, punctuation, how to appropriately put different emotions into Mandarin and the likes.
Check out modern romantic comedies for language and early Zhang YiMu movies for deeply soul enriching Chinese culture