TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Becker TV Poster Image
Grumpy doctor has heart; laughs for teens and up.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Becker is cynical and insensitive, but the show also presents strong loyalty among co-workers and friends. Characters are of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds; some are disabled. The show tackles issues surrounding underserved communities, including poverty and lack of medical care. Ethical issues surrounding medical practices are also dealt with; boundaries are pushed to provide health services to the needy, but the medical code of ethics isn't violated. Becker is an outspoken atheist.


References to violence, including gang violence, but all within the context of receiving medical treatment.


Contains sexual innuendo (which may go over the head of young viewers); many of the characters are single, so plenty of dating/relationship talk, too. Some making out, but no simulated sex acts.


Mild: "Bitch," "damn," "crap," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent adult smoking and drinking. Prescription drugs are discussed within the context of a patient's medical needs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Becker's main character is a grumpy doctor who smokes, drinks, and uses a lot of insults to make his point -- not exactly ideal role model behavior. But he also cares about his patients and does everything he can as a medical professional to help them live healthy lives. Parents should also know that this show addresses strong issues -- such as terminal illness, racism, and terrorism -- that may be too sensitive for younger viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymovierateroflas... June 28, 2020
Adult Written byMatt B. April 3, 2018

This show pushes the TV-PG limit.

This show contains sexual content.
Teen, 13 years old Written byhabibid9421 May 24, 2009
Teen, 13 years old Written bywolfbear87 April 9, 2008

What's the story?

BECKER revolves around the life of Dr. John Becker (Ted Danson of Cheers), an intelligent, outspoken, short-tempered physician who has a strong belief in practical medicine and little faith in anything (or anyone) else. A surprisingly loyal staff surrounds the grumpy, Harvard-educated doctor, including levelheaded office manager Margaret Wyborn (Hattie Winston) and eccentric office assistant Linda (Shawnee Smith). And when he's not in his Bronx office, Becker hangs around a local diner complaining about the many things that annoy him to friends Jake Malinak (Alex Desert) and Bob (Saverio Guerra). Twice divorced, Becker also has love-hate relationships with diner owner Reggie Kostas (Terry Farrell) and, later, with cheerful Chris Connor (Nancy Travis).

Is it any good?

This show both supports and criticizes the American health care system, introducing storylines like children who are successfully living with AIDS. There are also episodes about elderly patients unable to pay for medical treatment. It's in tricky situations like these that the usually bad tempered Becker demonstrates his softer, humanitarian side, going beyond science and reaching into his heart (and sometimes his own wallet) to provide his underserved patients with the best possible care.

Regrettably, these moments of genuine care are sometimes overshadowed by Becker's blunt and borderline-insulting commentary about issues like religion, homosexuality, race, and politics. But, political correctness aside, Becker's interpretations also serve as a platform from which controversial issues can be discussed. And it's in this way that this sitcom, like Becker himself, has something meaningful to offer.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role of medical professionals in our daily lives. Do you like the way doctors treat you when you see them? Why are some people who really need medical treatment unable to afford it?  Does Becker accurately portray doctors?

  • Families can also talk about how people go about discussing the things that bother them. What does it mean to be politically correct? When can political correctness go too far? Do you think people like Becker ever say things just to make people angry? What purpose does that serve?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love medical shows

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