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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Alice is a strong woman who works hard and lives independently. The people she works with are her extended family, but her priority is her son Tommy. While the diner staff is mostly women, Mel -- who often makes sexist comments -- clearly runs the place. The cast is Caucasian, but they have occasional Latino and African-American customers. Later episodes feature Tommy drinking and struggling with growing up.
Violence & Scariness
Mel often threatens to punch someone or shakes his fist, but he never carries it out. During a hold up, a gun is visible but never fired. In one episode, Alice gets scared and buys a gun.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual innuendo -- mostly courtesy of Mel and Flo -- that will probably go over the kids' head. Occasional kissing visible.
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Some silly insults and name calling. Mel calls Vera "dingy."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Hard alcohol and cigar/cigarette smoking sometimes visible. Characters are occasionally visibly drunk. In episodes from the show's later seasons, Tommy gets in trouble for drinking and smoking pot.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this classic '70s/'80s sitcom revolves around a widowed mother who wants to start a new life and pursue a singing career but gets sidetracked by a series of responsibilities and unexpected circumstances. Her choice to settle in Phoenix and raise her son is based more on need than desire. While fairly tame by today's primetime standards, the show is full of sharp humor and sexual innuendo, much of which will go over kids' heads. Some episodes late in the show's run (as Alice's son gets older) are a little racier.
Is It Any Good?
Based on the classic 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, the just-as-classic ALICE shows us that the road of life can be full of laughs, even if we end up off course. The long days serving customers are never dull -- and over time, the folks at the diner become part of Alice and Tommy's extended family, developing a bond so strong that even Mel's constant threats of firing everyone doesn't keep them from being there for each other during the good times and the bad.
The series reflects the changes that were taking place in America in the mid-1970s, as more single mothers entered the work force to support their children and pursue their own goals. It's also an example of how television introduced the workplace as a replacement for the idealized notion of what a traditional family should look like. Alice originally ran from 1976-1985 and currently airs in syndication (select episodes are available on DVD). The series had a short-lived spin-off, Flo.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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