Brothers & Sisters

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Brothers & Sisters TV Poster Image
Meaty ensemble drama for mature audiences.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While the show's overall message is that it's important to respect and be there for family members in good times and bad, episodes deal with mature, complex topics, and lessons aren’t always learned in just one episode. That said, both honesty and communication are important.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Walker family functions well as a collective unit, but individual characters are meant to be flawed human beings. As a result, they make mistakes, but they almost always have appropriate consequences.


One character grapples with cancer and loses her husband due to complications from a car crash.


The show deals with and discusses both heterosexual and homosexual sexual relationships. Some kissing, but sex scenes are suggested and nudity is only implied.


"Screw you," "ass," "damn," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mostly social drinking, with at least one incident of underage drinking in which a teen doesn’t realize she’s drinking alcohol and suffers some consequences as a result. An adult character struggles with an addiction to alcohol and prescription medication after returning from combat in the Middle East.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this grown-up drama deals with the complex relationships between a group of adult children and their parents. As such, some of the issues the characters deal with -- including marriage counseling, infidelity, serious illness, and prescription drug addiction -- might be too mature (and possibly of little interest) for tweens and younger teens. There are, however, some younger characters who are coming of age on the show as the series progresses, so plotlines could change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDamagesfan December 19, 2010

For older teens or mature families.

Good show, lots of laughs and very heartfelt
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byPatty101 July 7, 2009


I watch it with my daughter.
Kid, 12 years old May 27, 2011

Very Good, But...

I am 12 and I watch it with my mum. I think it is very good as long as you don't mind cussing or kissing (no pun/rhyme intended) If you are uncomfortable w... Continue reading

What's the story?

In BROTHERS & SISTERS, five grown-up siblings come to rely on one another more than ever before when a family tragedy makes them realize they need to play a larger role in their parents' lives. When conservative radio host Kitty Walker (Calista Flockhart) and her four siblings -- Sarah (Rachel Griffiths), a corporate executive who gives up her job to help her father run the family business; Tommy (Balthazar Getty), her charming brother who also works for their dad; Kevin (Matthew Rhys), a gay pro bono lawyer; and Justin (Dave Annable), an Iraq War veteran and baby of the family -- return to visit their parents (Sally Field and Tom Skerritt) in Southern California to celebrate their dad’s birthday, they find themselves discovering a lot more about one another. They also learn that they must accept their parents as flawed individuals, rather than as the larger-than-life father and mother who raised them.

Is it any good?

Produced by Ken Olin (Alias and thirtysomething), Jon Robin Baitz (The West Wing), and Greg Berlanti (Everwood), it's no surprise that this sprawling family drama is well-cast, well-acted, and well-written, although the plot has taken some drastic twists and turns over multiple seasons on the air. As a result, some fans feel like they don’t know where the show is going and aren’t sure what to expect next from the unpredictable Walker clan.

That said, Brothers & Sisters should entertain adults, who will likely nod in recognition at the ups and downs of the marital and family relationships the show portrays so deftly. But the subtleties of the script will be lost on most kids -- even older teens -- and there are only a handful of younger characters they could really relate to. Without a doubt, the show’s decidedly adult themes (including infidelity, politics, illness, and years of resentment) are aimed squarely at grown-ups.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the rewards -- and challenges -- of loving and respecting your family. Why is it important to see past differences and support one another?

  • When siblings fight, feelings get hurt; how can brothers and sisters air their grievances without resorting to arguments?

  • How do teens expect their relationships with their siblings (and their parents) to change as they get older? Who's responsible for maintaining those relationships?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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.

Learn how we rate