Parents' Guide to

Bonus Family

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sparkling Swedish drama has language, sex, heart.

TV Netflix Drama 2017
Bonus Family Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Complicated, Heartwarming Drama

This is a messy but goodhearted show showing the complexities of blended families. Really good character development - these characters have far more dimensions than your typical tv show, realistic kids (and babies) as well. In comparison with US tv there's less violence, less religion, more affection, children have more freedom, and there's less attention paid to things like language. It's a well rounded show that deals with a lot of complicated issues but ultimately always puts the children at the centre. Well worth watching.

This title has:

Great messages
age 10+

Terrible portrayal of new Swedish culture

This is a terrible picture of "modern" sweden, portrayal of the worst they took from the US culture. Very sad indeed.

This title has:

Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

A massive hit in its native Scandinavia, this exceptional drama examines the emotional fallout of a divorce in a manner that's alternately painful and funny, but always realistic. When the married Lisa had an affair with an equally married Patrik, she didn't intend to tear two families apart. Yet when the two started their own family, that's precisely what happened, and now everyone is only occasionally able to pretend everything is just fine for the kids. More often, the tension shows -- and Bonus Family does an absolutely terrific job of illustrating how the strain of small things can quickly turn a tense situation into a toxic one. In the show's first episode, Wille and Erik are both turning 11. Wouldn't it be nice to throw the boys a joint party, with the whole family in attendance? It sounds like a great idea, until the negotiations drag on for weeks, and the party ultimately results in an accident that lands both birthday boys in the hospital.

The painful truth that Bonus Family understands is that no matter how gently parents handle a divorce, the pain it causes is still real. And even Lisa and Patrik, the two people most committed to the idea that their fairy tale of a love story surely has to end in happily-ever-after, start to understand how their children, and their own relationships to the children, are deeply affected by their actions. But, choices made, everyone's struggling to find a way to make things better, with festering wounds underneath a veneer of fake smiles -- yet also with a deep, real love that occasionally shines through and wins the day. This sharp but sweet show doesn't look or sound like American sitcoms -- and viewers will love it.

TV Details

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