As Time Goes By TV Poster Image

As Time Goes By



Adults will fall in love with this charming UK comedy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series follows the ups and downs of an older couple reaffirming their feelings for each other and working out the kinks of a new marriage. Through it all, they display a genuine affection for each other.

Not applicable

Occasional kisses; some vague implications of sexual attraction.


Rare use of "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink in social settings and to relax at home. In at least one scene, a woman drinks too much champagne and gets clumsy and boisterous.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though it's pretty tame from a content perspective -- a bit of kissing and drinking and rare uses of "damn" are about the worst of it -- this witty British sitcom isn't likely to interest teens, since they won't relate to the aging characters' issues.

Parents say

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What's the story?

British sitcom AS TIME GOES BY follows a couple's second try at romance after chance separated them for 38 years. Oscar winner James Bond boss Dame Judi Dench stars as Jean Pargetter, who runs a secretarial agency and lives with her twice-divorced daughter, Judith (Moira Brooker), in London. When a call comes in from an unhappy client, Jean finds herself face to face with ex-army officer/Kenyan coffee planter named Lionel Hardcastle (Geoffrey Palmer), with whom she had been romantically involved during the Korean War. Their relationship had come to an ambiguous end 38 years before when a case of bad luck -- and one wayward letter -- made each think the other wasn't interested in marriage. Now, with Lionel back in London to write his personal memoirs, he and Jean begin to spend time together -- but for two independent singles set in their ways, it's not always easy to slide into a relationship. During the first few seasons of the show, the focus stayed on Lionel and Jean's re-budding romance. But partway through the series' eight-year stint, they married, after which storylines followed the ups and downs of newlywed life. Judith continued to live with them, and Jean's secretary, Sandy (Jenny Funnell), often hung around the house as well. Lionel's egotistical agent, Alistair (Philip Bretherton), shared an on-again/off-again relationship with Judith, which eventually culminated in their marriage late in the series.

Is it any good?


This delightful show will keep adult viewers in stitches with its sharp writing, brilliant cast, and realistic storylines that bring fresh humor to common situations like meeting a spouse's ex, overcoming little uncertainties in a new marriage, and observing an adult daughter's love life. Palmer and Dench are spot-on choices for these wonderful characters, whose genuine affection for each other is a refreshing highlight to the series. But if your teens roll their eyes at the show (and don't be surprised if they do), invite your spouse to join in the fun with you.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether TV shows tend to portray married life positively or negatively. What about romance and love? How realistic do you think TV relationships are? Do you believe that every person has one "true" love, or can you love more than one person? How do you know when you love someone? Parents can also share their own stories -- how they met, when they fell in love, the details of their wedding, what they love about each other, etc.

TV details

Premiere date:January 12, 1992
Cast:Geoffrey Palmer, Judi Dench, Moira Brooker
Network:BBC America
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBrittish Trash February 21, 2012


A bit of sex talk...but other than that nothing bad. I ADORE THIS SHOW!!!!! Beautifully romantic and touching. any body at about 12 should watch this show!! there is one part while Lionel needs to describe a sex seen between him and Jean. Its wonderfully funny as well!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 7 years old March 4, 2010

Bad. Appropiate

Bubbe [ grandma] watches this show alot. And I don't think theres anything bad in it. But it teaches people to enjoy things while you have it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old September 4, 2012


This is a hallariouse! TV show, its totally fine for kids! I loved it! there are some "adult joks" but they are not too bad
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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