A to Z
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Mild and charming romantic comedy with some innuendo.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Work and love are treated lightly on the show, but it's mostly an amiable romance that pulls its punches.
Positive Role Models
Characters often act in sitcom-ish fashion and make fun of each other, but they're largely kind and sympathetic.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss, date, and flirt. There are references to hooking up and consequence-free casual sex. Lots of jokey sexual talk, about connecting penises and vaginas, for example, or dating "bi girls."
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Only the mildest of epithets: "What the heck were you thinking?" Plus language about sexual organs and sexuality, such as "penis" and "bi girls."
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Products & Purchases
Many mentions of real-life movies (Back to the Future) and celebrities (Beyoncé, Lea Thompson).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many scenes take place in bars. Characters refer to "needing" a drink.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A to Z is a mostly inoffensive romantic comedy, with little to worry parents beyond some innuendo and references to "hookups." There is kissing, dating, and flirting, on the part of the couple on which the show centers and otherwise. Some scenes take place in bars, and characters refer to "needing" a drink; no one acts drunk. Basically, this is a show that won't necessarily interest those younger than 14 or 15, since it focuses on a thirtysomething cast, but if teens or tweens catch a glimpse, no one will be traumatized, nor will there be too many awkward questions afterward.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
A to Z
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What's the Story?
Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti) didn't notice each other despite working in adjacent buildings for months. But a chance meeting at the dating service where Andrew works brings the couple together -- for better or for worse. And as narrator Katey Sagal affirms during the show's opening monologue, A TO Z "is the comprehensive account of their relationship, from A to Z." The monologue also tells us that Andrew and Zelda dated for only under nine months. Did they break up? Did they marry and live together forever and ever? You'll have to watch to see.
Is It Any Good?
A to Z really badly wants to be How I Met Your Mother. It even stars HIMYM's Cristin Milioti! But as knockoffs go, this one actually boasts some charm. Feldman, who played a memorable neurotic on Mad Men, is a lovable, oversharing romantic mess of a fella, surrounded at work every day by lovers meeting, yet lonely himself. Milioti-as-Zelda has her defenses up, but they're washed away by Feldman's enthusiastic tail-wagging. Together they're a couple we want to get together and that we want to watch.
Zelda and Andrew's circle of oddball friends -- now, they could use some sharpening up. Andrew's given a big galoot of a best pal, who apparently both works and lives with him. He's clearly the show's wingman, kept around to say stuff like, "Dating a bi girl is like winning the sexual lottery," a line that the show's writers clearly think is clever enough to keep in the script but too off-color for our main charmer to say. Zelda's bestie is a sexually voracious fellow lawyer; we're supposed to be amused that she has a parade of colorful beaux parading through her life and producing sitcommy complications. Not so much. However, when the cameras focus on Milioti and Feldman, or when the creators write brilliant cameos for guest stars such as Lea Thompson (on a hoverboard!), this show is both cute and worthy of watching.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the romantic-comedy genre. What makes a comedy "romantic" specifically, considering that love interests figure largely in most shows or movies? Why do people like to watch romantic comedies or stories about people falling in love?
Why do most romances follow the story of when a couple meets and gets together? Why not pick up the action when the couple is already firmly established?
Sitcoms about dating couples surrounded by a group of quirky friends are a time-honored television staple. What shows like A to Z can you name? How is A to Z alike? How is it different?
- Premiere date: October 2, 2014
- Cast: Ben Feldman, Katey Sagal, Cristin Milioti
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 26, 2022
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