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Better with You
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sitcom focuses on committed relationships among six adults -- two sisters, their parents, and their significant others. The youngest character is in her late 20s, and she and her boyfriend are getting married because of a pending pregnancy. Another couple has consciously chosen not to get married. Still, most sexual situations are mild (i.e., suggested rather than shown). Older teens can handle the content, which will probably appeal to them on some level, and is essentially free of any iffy language, violence, or substance abuse.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
BETTER WITH YOU follows the ups, downs, and everyday dealings between three different couples: Mia and Casey (Joanna Garcia and Jake Lacy), who've been dating for just seven and a half weeks; Maddie and Ben (Jennifer Finnigan and Josh Cooke), who've been together (but not married) for nine years; and Mia and Maddie's parents, Joel and Vicky (Ken Fuller and Debra Jo Rupp), who've been married for 35 years. The family dynamic changes when Mia introduces Casey to the clan and reveals they're getting married -- and having a baby.
Is it any good?
Better with You borrows a lot from the successful Friends formula, except that Mia, Maddie, Vicky, Casey, Ben, and Joel aren’t roommates in the traditional sense -- they’re one, big well-cast family. Casey’s similarities to Friends’ dumb-but-loveable Joey are
merely probably a coincidence. Or not. But Better with You still feels fresh thanks to zippy timing, palpable chemistry, and a sense that, comedically speaking, everyone’s pulling their weight.
It's also fun to see the pros and cons of partnering play out at three different points along the relationship spectrum. True, the younger characters get a bit more camera time, and the parents' 35-year marriage is mostly reduced to bottled-up seething and dysfunction. But when Mom and Dad deliver a line, they usually get the last laugh.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships and how TV pairings compare with reality. Does the concept of following three different couples at three different stages of being together lend a sense of realism to what you're seeing? Does the show make any exaggerations for the sake of comedy?
What are the consequences of premarital sex for Mia and Casey? Are there fewer complications because they're older?
What do you think about Maddie and Ben's "valid life choice" to not be married? Would marriage change their relationship much considering they've already been together for nine years? What are the pros and cons of saying "I do"?