What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy is about as tame a family sitcom as one will find on television today. There are references to sex, but they tend to be in the comedic context of the main married couple. Most characters are white.
What's the story?
ACCORDING TO JIM puts a twist on the traditional family. She's a stay-at-home mom with their three precocious children, and he's the family's breadwinner -- but there's no question who's more modern. Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith) is continually challenging Jim's (James Belushi) old-fashioned, traditional ways of doing just about everything. This may not be the first sitcom with this twist, but due to the great casting of Belushi as the construction business-owner dad and Thorne-Smith as the clever modern mom, it works. Don't expect According to Jim to tackle thought-provoking topics, but it's light, funny, and provides one show on television today that a family with teens can watch together without flinching.
Is it any good?
The supporting cast adds extra wackiness to the family dynamic. Cheryl's sister, Dana, played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, is a high-strung Type A who is climbing the ladder in her career but will always throw in her two cents on what's going wrong in this family. Andy, Cheryl's brother, played by Larry Joe Campbell, is a partner in the design/building business and confidante in many of Jim's antics. Belushi and Campbell expertly use their physical comedic skills and timing to enhance their characters' boyish personalities and the show's slapstick, silly plot lines.
Despite Jim's antics and Cheryl's strong opinions, the bottom line is that their marriage is based on love and respect. This is a marriage that will last. If you're looking for a show to watch with adolescents that's relatively benign and at times gives you a chuckle, here it is. It's an opportunity to learn about a family made up of different personalities and ideas about life who live together, laugh together, get through the day together, and somehow or another make it through in one piece.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether or not the family dynamic presented here is realistic. Are situation comedies supposed to mirror real-life situations or merely serve as an escape? They could also talk about why family comedies like this show are so predictable.