According to Jim

Common Sense Media says

Predictable family comedy, but better than some.





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.

Parents say

Kids say

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

Cast:Courtney Thorne-Smith, James Belushi, Kimberly Williams-Paisley
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of According to Jim was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySunderkind April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
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 byHuebel April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Predictable, Which Is A Good Thing

The CSM review said the show was "predictable". In today's world of shock television, that's a good thing. According To Jim portrays a healthy family relationship and pokes fun at married life. While the show wouldn't interest younger viewers, you don't have to change the channel if they're in the room.
Teen, 13 years old Written bykrazypanda45 June 14, 2009

I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!!

this is my favorite show and is one show that the whole family enjoys to watch and is definitely entertaining


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