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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 Breeders is an mature dark comedy about the many challenges that come with raising children while also trying to live life as well-adjusted adults. Tempers often flare, and cursing is extensive, especially "f--k" (and is sometimes aimed at children). There's some talk about sex and sexual desire, and drinking (hard liquor) and cigarette smoking is visible. The occasional injury leads to some blood, but there's nothing too gory.
I would say for adults only
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What's the Story?
BREEDERS is a British comedy that offers an uncompromising look at the struggles of being a parent. Paul Worsely (Martin Freeman) and his wife Ally (Daisy Haggard) are caring parents who are raising their children, Luke (George Wakeman), Ava (Jayda Eyes). But as they tackle the challenges that come with raising kids, they also have to juggle their professional careers, financial responsibilities, and their own relationship problems. Coping with with aging family members (played by folks like Michael McKeon and Alum Armstrong) also makes things difficult. Parenthood isn't what they expected, but as Paul and Ally navigate their way through it, they question who they are, and whether or not they will be able to survive.
Is It Any Good?
This painfully honest series uses dark humor to underscore what good parents face every day as they simultaneously love, and wish they could do away with, their children. From desperately trying to get their wide-awake kids to sleep, to pushing a teacher to declare that their offspring is gifted, Breeders points to the overwhelming task that parents, particularly working parents, face every day. The sense of inadequacy many feel as they make mistakes, and fail to be the benevolent mentors that educators, child care experts, and others expect them to be is frequently highlighted. It also addresses the complicated role grandparents can play in the overall experience whether they are doting (and sometimes questionable) childcare providers, or people who need to be taken in and, like their children, be taken care of.
What gets lost in all of this is the relationship between Paul and Ally, who often seem unable to hold on to who they were before having kids, or the reasons they got together in the first place. Perhaps this is more realistic than we'd like to admit, but it makes it a little difficult for viewers to appreciate the reasons why they should stay together beyond their children's well-being. Nonetheless, Breeders is unapologetic and non-judgmental as it paints an imperfect picture of what life with children can really be like, and a couple's every day struggles to cope with it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families an talk about the messages Breeders sends about parenthood. Are Paul and Ally unique in that weren't ready for all the challenges that come with raising children? Was there any way for them to be prepared for it?
Are parents supposed to be perfect? Should we expect them to try to be? Who decides what makes a good parent, and what doesn't?
Does cursing make a show more realistic or believable? Does it add drama? Is it possible to produce a good adult comedy without a lot (or any) swearing?
- Premiere date: March 2, 2020
- Cast: Martin Freeman, Daisy Haggard, Michael McKean
- Network: FX
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Raunchy, hilarious British romcom about relationships.
Back to Life
Poignant British dramedy about post-prison life is mature.
Quality drama charts the pros, cons of family togetherness.
Poignant family dramedy with lots of adult themes.
For kids who love comedy
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