According to Jim TV Poster Image

According to Jim



Predictable family comedy, but better than some.
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2001

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the mom chooses to be home with kids and the dad is the breadwinner, they play equals roles in raising their children through discussion and negotiation.

Not applicable

Comedic references to sex in the context of a married couple.


Some slang, such as description of breasts as "shakers."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults are seen drinking alcoholic beverages in the home, at restaurants and in bars.

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.

TV details

Premiere date:October 3, 2001
Cast:Courtney Thorne-Smith, James Belushi, Kimberly Williams-Paisley
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySunderkind April 9, 2008
I was really disappointed not just by this show, but by the CSM review of it. All the main characters are white. Yes, the review mentions this in passing, but then disregards it. It certainly doesn't challenge any gender roles- the "man of the house" and his decisions generallly over-rule his wife's. In short, while there may be nothing inherently offensive about it to a mainstream audience, Life According to Jim only reinforces traditionally sexist, borderline racist views. I also found it predictable and unentertaining. Not worth watching.
Adult Written bymoocowtoyou March 17, 2012

Disgusting misogyny and sexism under a heavy glaze of pretense that this is how a loving family works when faced with various familial dilemmas

Anyone who thinks this show represents good family values because Jim does what he does to protect them, and Cheryl's cool attitude and acceptance of his 'shenanigans" has been completely and successfully blinded by the shiny glaze enforced over the true messages of this show. Although a scathing review of these will follow I will also note that this show is not funny, predictable, repetitive and really is without value. If your kids are watching tv to the extent that this show becomes an option please opt for the animal, discovery, history or even cooking channels for the sake of actually giving them worthwhile information instead of a truly poisonous hogwash of a show...The only saving grace of this show, the character of Cheryl, an angelic woman who really goes the extra mile to support and understand her husband, gives of all her to her family while retaining an awesome sense of humour...thanks to the actress she has filled out the character so well that were she placed in an actual realistic and supportive environment the show would actually showcase the morals desired from adult role models...and would likely be a worthwhile show for kids. But since in this version this woman accepts unrealstic circumstances of her 40's era household values, and never reacts to the constant betrayal she is subjected to this show remains a poorly constructed lie of what family is and should be, full of dangerous messages to kids growing up in this day and age. so then why am i so perturbed by what i see on According to Jim...I must note that nearly every episode will make me feel so ill at its premises that i need to shout in disgust and exasperation. the most misogynist show i have EVER seen, every episode without exception has the father trick and/or literally control how his wife behaves (both God and the Devil appear to Jim in different episodes and give him the power to do what he wishes to his wife, in fact it is because he made a deal with the devil that his wife loves him in the 1st place. The devil appears when Jim and Cheryl have newborn twins and the devil comes to take his 5th born child for him as payment for cheryl's love. He then tries to trick her into thinking the leftover identical twin is also his brother, as she has had a C-section (the easy way out! exclaims Jim) and is bed the end of the episode however it is suggested she has sex with him despite her medical issue of a freshly sliced and stitched together abdomen. When God gives him the power to change all women in his world to his personal ideal (because Jim is dissatisfied how free willed his wife is and laments to his brother-in-law/best friend (the endless punchline of fat jokes, who is moronic, and NEVER is seen in a serious & loving relationship with a woman) that he could make all women so much better) - the 1st change he gives all women of the world giant breasts ....and then sees his 10 year old daughter with a giant rack...the 2nd wish that women be more like men equates to his wife taking him for a quickee, finishing before her husband, promising to let him orgasm the next time, then loudly farting and making a dutch oven over her husband.. .the third wish then is for men to be like women - turning Jim sensitive, weepy and into a cook and neighbour dinner party thrower who stresses too much when a dish has already been had at a previous night that week, he thus has a back-up dish..which too has been eaten earlier in the week causing him to have a complete meltdown.. he is always seen lounging in his la-zboy watching sports while she is more often than not seen in the kitchen, cooking or gossiping. How is the mother staying home for her middle school age children in ANY way a positive message? this show is disgustingly misogynist and sexist, has a disgusting view of gender roles. It is sick! i dont know which message is worse, the one little girls or boys may take away from this. dangerous at its core and promoting antiquated "morals" of using your partner and kids for your personal pleasures while consistently lying to or trying to trick everyone who is female - wife, daughters, sister-in-law while they all remain compliant and are never really offended by this under the thin pretense that this is how familial and unconditional loves work. His sons however only seem to be tricked when they are inexplicably tied into the trick to be executed on the girls as collateral damage, but never directly due to his scrutiny. His best friend is there to help him concoct the episodal plans against his sister and her kids to be rewarded only by being called some kind of idiot and with never ending fat jokes - he is once dressed in only a diaper, cap and binkie when Jim attempts to fool his wife concerning his newborn twin boy taken by the devil. Truly every episode is composed of cruelty and tickery by an alpha-male under the guise of being a good & protective family man sick, sick, sick! how and why is this show allowed to air on tv...? > my sources for this is being a psychologist who deals in many a family matter.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bysuitelife April 9, 2008

Pretty good show

I watch it and think it is pretty funny.


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