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Accidentally on Purpose
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that casual sex is the catalyst that jump-starts this sitcom about an unmarried female character in her 30s who gets pregnant and admits that, on more than one occasion, she didn't use protection. The show's jokes are heavy on sexual innuendo and body part humor, but language is mostly curse-free (although you will hear words like "hooker," "porn," etc.). There's also some social drinking. and a secondary character uses marijuana (off screen). The main role models are flawed but generally positive as they try to step up and act responsibly.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On the rebound from a breakup with her boss, James (Grant Show), unmarried Billie (Jenna Elfman) jumps into bed with Zack (Jon Foster), a cute younger man she met at a bar. But she's hardly prepared for the unplanned pregnancy that results from the careless encounter ... which could have been ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE. Billie resolves to keep the baby and invites Zack, who has no place to live, to move in with her as a platonic houseguest. Meanwhile, James expresses second thoughts about getting serious.
Is it any good?
As far as sitcoms go, Accidentally on Purpose is entertaining enough, with some generally funny writing and a strong cast (although Foster, like his character, seems a bit green compared to his co-stars). Elfman lays it on thick with offbeat charm to create a satisfyingly quirky protagonist, and it's great to see Ashley Jensen (Extras) in a supporting turn as her ballsy gal pal. Lines like "He smelled like a Skittle; I feel like I tasted the rainbow" and "I prefer the term 'linx' or 'ocelot' [to 'cougar']" definitely work.
That said, some aspects -- including the premise of having your baby daddy living in your apartment long-term -- seem less certain. And what happens when the baby comes along?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the real-life consequences of casual sex -- including pregnancy, parenthood, and a complete change of lifestyle. Are there different complications when it comes to teen pregnancy? Why do some movies and TV shows portray unplanned pregnancies as funny?
What do you make of Billie's choices? What do you think about Zack's commitment to be a part of the baby's life? Are either of them ready for parenthood? What makes someone a good parent?
Who's the show's target audience? How can you tell?