A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes include positivity (hence the title), take help when it's offered, and offer help when it's needed.
Positive Role Models
Drew is a lonely newly single dad who will need help through the physical and emotional challenges of kidney transplant. After initially rejecting her offer, he comes to recognize that he should help his flawed donor Gina so that she can help him. Gina and her friend Gabby delight in drugs, drinking, and casual sex. Gina begins to question those choices when she can't remember her conversations or who's shared her bed. Drew's daughter Maddie treats him rudely without consequence.
Violence & Scariness
Slapstick sitcom violence includes things like Drew jumping on the front of the senior living facility van that Gina drives and getting sprayed by the wipers and cleaner. While drunk and high, Gina falls out a first-floor window.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The sex references (all from Gina) are more innuendo than anything we see. She refers to hooking up with a groomsman by saying “He may not recognize me from the front.” Speaking of her kidney she says, as others overhear, "My organ will be in you... I will be in you." Later to Drew she says, "I’ve given my body to many men before, but never for keeps."
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Lots of references to pee (Drew's bad kidneys are uncredited co-stars here, after all), and one unnamed character says "d--k."
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Products & Purchases
Mobile phones and laptops appear, but no particular brands. There's one reference to Uber, uttered by Bernie Kopell of Love Boat fame!
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Gina is a self-described party girl who we meet while she's smoking a joint and drinking wine, and she refers to having taken a Xanax earlier. To donate a kidney, she has to give up drugs and drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that B Positive, the latest show from sitcom king Chuck Lorre, is about a 30-something single father Drew (Thomas Middleditch) who needs a kidney and reluctantly accepts the offer of one from a hard-partying high school acquaintance, Gina (Annaleigh Ashford). The premise itself requires a certain amount of bodily humor -- lots of pee talk, in particular. B Positive's theme song, an old-timey ditty that proclaims "It's your prerogative to be positive" plays over cartoony absurdist drawings of a centuries-old operating theater that graphically focuses on blood and innards. Gina appears obviously inebriated, and we see her smoke pot and drink wine, plus she refers to taking Xanax. At a doctor's office with her friend and fellow partier Gabby (Kether Donohue), she implies she could get a prescription for whatever drug they'd like. Drew's 12-year-old daughter, Maddie (Izzy G), speaks dismissively -- when at all -- to her father (he suggests it's because he and her mother recently split). In Gina's job as a van driver for a senior living center, the passengers function less as characters than as a source of laughs, and Gina refers numerous times -- again, for laughs -- to how many have died.
Is It Any Good?
Can a sitcom based on the inherently unfunny topic of organ replacement actually be funny? With a cast of comedy veterans and a focus on kindness, signs point to a good match. Just when you think Chuck Lorre can't add any twists to his oeuvre -- which includes The Big Bang Theory, Mom, and Two and a Half Men -- he offers up a show based on a simple premise that doesn't sound comedic: single dad Drew (Thomas Middleditch, best known from HBO's Silicon Valley) needs a kidney. Loosely based on Mom writer Marco Pennette's own story, B Positive gets the pee-related kidney humor out of the way early (and often) so we can focus on Drew and his high school acquaintance Gina, the only donor who's both willing and debatably able to offer a kidney. Gina is played by Annaleigh Ashford, an acclaimed actor in stage musicals, as well as a Masters of Sex series regular. Her party-girl Gina is a combination of bravado and vulnerability, whose camp counselor tendencies are on full display when she leads her elderly charges in the assisted-living van in a chorus of "I like big butts and I cannot lie." Her outsized energy complements Drew's deadpan depressive demeanor.
In the pilot, we only briefly meet Drew's uncommunicative pre-teen daughter (Izzy G, who last co-starred with RuPaul in Netflix's AJ and the Queen), and it's clear their relationship will likely provide fodder for "growth" storylines. Gina's friendship with fellow partier Gabby is promising from the start -- in a bit of typecasting, Kether Donohue plays a version of her I'm-a-pain-but-so-fun Lindsay character in You're the Worst. Familiarity can breed comfort. Likewise, the familiar beats of a multi-cam sitcom are a welcome respite when every day can feel a bit too new and surprising.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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