Parents' Guide to


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Broad '80s sitcom boasts sci-fi elements and sarcasm.

ALF Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 7+
1 person found this helpful.
age 16+

Beware season 3

I enjoy Alf personally, it’s nostalgic with some dry humor. Parents have to be aware of season three. Alf cracks an f* you in one of these episodes. As a precaution, suggest not allowing your young children to watch it unless you do first to avoid exposure like this. Depending on what you allow in your home as well, as Alf portrays a not so good role model, he can be crude and inappropriate for younger impressionable viewers.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (8):

When it first aired in 1986, ALF was truly subversive stuff. A nation whose collective minds had been recently blown by blockbuster movie E.T. expected a show about an alien creature to be life-affirming and tear-inducing. Instead, ALF presented a sardonic, sarcastic alien who was riddled with survivor guilt after escaping his destroyed home planet, bored and trapped in his new human home, and who was all too willing to take out these emotions on the Tanner family. Kids thrilled to ALF's bad attitude. He dared to talk back to mom and dad! For their part, adults appreciated ALF's flintiness, which was a breath of fresh air in the do-gooder landscape of '80s family sitcoms like Growing Pains.

These days, with plenty of programs centering around anti-heroes, ALF's grumpiness doesn't come across as quite as fresh. In addition, references that were sharply current in the '80s (Sean Penn, Born in the USA, Mork & Mindy) now require some explaining to younger family members. But the fish-out-of-water concept is still a juicy one for kids, since they keenly relate to characters who don't really know the rules and how to act. Whether parents will appreciate ALF's general negativity, his mockery of the Tanner parents and their values, and his incessant backtalk is not as certain.

TV Details

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