By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
White House comedy with a few mature-ish storylines.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's not a lot of emphasis on "message," but the show does reinforce the importance of family -- even if individual family members are flawed. Even though it's set in the world of politics, 1600 Penn is rarely "political."
Positive Role Models
The Gilchrists are dysfunctional by definition, but they somehow make it work. Skip's antics are always well-intentioned -- even though they usually end in disaster. And oldest daughter Becca functions as a surrogate mom to her younger siblings, even though she's far from perfect. That said, people from other countries are often painted with broad, comedic strokes.
Violence & Scariness
Light violence (including fist fights and explosions) is played for comedic effect.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nothing overt onscreen, but the president's teenage daughter is dealing with the consequences of premarital sex.
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Mostly gateway terms like "damn," "ass," and "crap," with a few instances of stronger words ("f--k") that are bleeped for comedic effect.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking, but it's rare.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 1600 Penn is generally appropriate for families with older teens, who will likely gravitate toward storylines involving the president's two older children. Language is pretty light (mostly gateway words like "damn" and "ass," with the exception of some bleeped swearing for comedic effect), and social drinking and sex are kept to a minimum. That said, there's a storyline early on involving the president's teenage daughter and the repercussions of premarital sex.
Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
When accident-prone Skip (Josh Gad) pulls a headline-making stunt at college, his dad -- sitting President Dale Gilchrist (Bill Pullman) -- promptly pulls him out of school and into the family home at 1600 PENN, where he joins siblings Becca (Martha MacIsaac), Marigold (Amara Miller), and Zander (Benjamin Stockham) and polished stepmom Emily Nash-Gilchrist (Jenna Elfman) in the White House. But Skip has a knack for making mistakes wherever he goes.
Is It Any Good?
Some critics have billed 1600 Penn as NBC's "answer" to Modern Family -- but if that's true, it's hardly a definitive one. For in spite of the presence of typically bankable leads Pullman and Elfman (and Broadway funnyman Gad, who nabbed rave reviews -- and a Tony nomination -- for his work in "The Book of Mormon"), the pilot, at least, is surprisingly short on laughs. That's not to say the show isn't funny. But the writers have a long way to go until 1600 Penn can be a viable candidate in the race for prime time ratings.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how this ficticious First Family compares to real-life White House families, both present and past. How does it compare to other depictions of presidential families on the big and small screens?
What do you think it's like to be a kid growing up in the White House? What types of things do you take for granted as a "normal" kid that you might have to give up? (For example, what about your privacy?) Would your mom or dad parent you any differently if he or she was the president?
Does 1600 Penn have a political point of view? If so, how can you tell?
- Premiere date: December 17, 2012
- Cast: Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman, Josh Gad
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: October 23, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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