Home Improvement

Common Sense Media says

Laughs and lessons abound in whole-family sitcom.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series offers lessons about family and problem solving. There's some male/female role stereotyping, but it's always played for laughs.

Positive role models

Both parents stress values like doing the right thing, education, and respect, while encouraging their kids' exploration of other interests. Wilson often offers philosophical guidance to the Taylor family.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Very occasional boy/girl flirting and kissing. Tim and Jill trade affectionate banter.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Occasional brandless soda and junk food.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show finds its humor in family-friendly issues like sibling dynamics, parenting challenges, and an accident-prone Mr. Fix-It dad. Very little about this series is cause for concern; it lends a pretty realistic view of life within a typical nuclear family. Each episode offers an obvious lesson (sometimes for parents as well as kids) in moral judgment, communication, or responsibility. The series occasionally touches on more-serious topics like divorce or a family member's death.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

HOME IMPROVEMENT was a favorite for eight seasons on ABC in the '90s, and it continues to entertain fans in syndication and on DVD. Tim Allen stars as Tim Taylor, a Michigan native who hosts a local cable show called Tool Time. The show celebrates all things manly: tools, hardware stores, cars, and the like. A firm believer that "more power" is always a good thing, Tim often tweaks and adjusts his way to disastrously funny on-set mishaps that delight the Tool Time audience but test the patience of his mild-mannered assistant, Al Borland (Richard Karn).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Tim is no less accident-prone at home, but even though his wife, Jill (Patricia Richardson), has been known to call in professionals to pick up the pieces of her husband's work, she remains his biggest fan. They have a loving, respectful relationship that allows them to be an effective parenting team for their three boys: Brad (Zachary Ty Bryan), Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Mark (Taran Noah Smith).

Like many couples, Tim and Jill often struggle with understanding each other and their children, but they're guided by their slightly mysterious, philosophical neighbor, Wilson Wilson Jr. (Earl Hindman). Although much of Wilson's intellectual advice is lost in translation to Tim (and his misinterpretations are hysterical), Tim and Jill always learn a little something about their own feelings and each other's with Wilson's help. Strong writing, relatable storylines, and a great cast make this sitcom a winner for families.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of communication within a family. Why do family members need to be honest and open with each other? How do the Taylors work out their problems? Does their situation seem realistic to you? Families also can discuss when teasing is appropriate and when it isn't. Why do the Taylor boys pick on each other? How do you feel if someone teases you?

TV details

This review of Home Improvement was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old Written bysports4u February 18, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

perfect for tweens above 9

i was confused when i saw kissing in a season 4 episode of home improvement .thats why i dont want anyone under 9 watching this show ranked 7 out of my 25 favorite shows

What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old Written byGummiBearGirl February 28, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Funny Tween Show

Great Show, but there is a lot more stuff about sex and drugs in later episodes.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old Written byNovalita December 24, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families