Breaking Bonaduce

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Breaking Bonaduce TV Poster Image
Uncomfortable look at former child star's woes.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Sends the message that trying to make amends for your faults is a good thing, as long as you don't repeat your mistakes. Danny is a (hopefully) recovering addict and has jealousy and anger-management issues.

Violence
Sex

Bonaduce ogles other women and makes sexual innuendos directed at his wife. Some discussion of Danny and Gretchen's sex life, as well as of an affair Danny had a long time ago.

Language

"F--king cool" (with the first part bleeped) is as bad as it gets.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bonaduce is a recovering drug addict and binge drinker; some of what he does while high/drunk (including standing on a precarious rooftop and carjacking someone) is shown, as is his time in rehab. Lots of discussion of his addiction.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in this series, star Danny Bonaduce (a Partridge Family alum) deals with his alcohol and drug addiction, as well as other strains on his marriage and family life. He's spent time in rehab and is trying to rebuild his marriage. While his intentions are good, the message -- that partying hard and in the process hurting those you love makes for funny TV fodder -- definitely isn't. (Note: In April 2007, Bonaduce's wife filed for divorce.)

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In BREAKING BONADUCE, viewers follow the life and couples counseling sessions of washed-up child star Danny Bonaduce and his wife, Gretchen, as they deal with the issues that threaten to break up their relationship. Danny and Gretchen got married in 1990 after knowing each other for just a few hours, but they stuck together for more than 15 years, weathering Danny's adultery, anger issues, substance abuse, and more.

Is it any good?

Breaking Bonaduce isn't your average reality show, in that it's more like a cautionary documentary about the hazards of hard living. The show had already begun filming when Danny fell back on drugs and drinking binges. A rehab program leaves Danny more determined than ever to win back Gretchen's trust and save their marriage. He relies on the help of friends and marriage counselor Dr. Garry Corgiat to get his life back on track. But to do so, he still has to deal with the jealousy issues that continue to torment him.

While high, Danny exhibited manic behavior, and those scenes are revisited from time to time. In one scene, a tipsy Danny, in Mexico for a rooftop photo shoot, jumps onto the ledge and plays around while horrified photographers look on. During the same trip, he carjacks a vehicle while drunk. There are also scenes in which he verbally abuses his therapist. While any fans that the actor has left may enjoy it, for families looking for quality TV, it's a pass.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about drugs and alcohol. Why do some people have a problem controlling the amount they drink, while others don't? What makes someone an addict? Why do some people become addicts even when they know about the harmful effects of substance abuse? What messages does the show send about addiction? Families can also discuss counseling. Do you think their sessions are helping Danny and Gretchen? What are the benefits of therapy? The drawbacks (if any)?

TV details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate