A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Presumably the creators intended the "it takes a village" message to resonate, but can feel like a demand from mom Jean -- "You must be my village!" The grown children are more level-headed and talk out their family challenges in a relatable way.
Positive Role Models
Mom Jean's neediness is unappealing, yet her adult kids agree that it would be nice to have her living nearby. In contrast to the popular stereotype of 20-somethings living in their parents' basements, these two are on their own. The daughter's roommate is a gay Black man named Lane who mentions coming out to his parents on the way to Bible camp.
Violence & Scariness
References to violence: Mom Jean says she watches a lot of Forensic Files and warns her Airbnb host "nondescript white male luring women to his guest house...if you murder me you won't get away with it."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Jean, a widow, talks a lot about how long it's been since she last had sex (she says hasn't had sex in four years and hasn't been kissed in 5). When Jean meets host Airbnb Danny he warns her that his dog "has a tendency to hump"; she replies, "So do I." Jean and her friend Sharon also mention "pornos" and hairlessness therein. Sharon refers to child Freddie's penis as a "little dangle." Now-adult Freddy says he's different from his 7th-grade self in that he goes "all the way" with his girlfriend.
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Jean calls a guy who honks at her to move a "d--k," son Freddie is referred to as a "grown-ass man," and there's at least one utterance of "this sucks."
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Products & Purchases
Airbnb is almost another character in the show -- Jean rents a guest house from potential love interest Danny. Son Freddie's girlfriend Celia is a social media influencer who mentions needing to post about buying oat milk and takes notice of backgrounds for her posts.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mentions of marijuana stores. All the characters are shown drinking wine and/or beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Call Your Mother is a sitcom about a 50-something widow and her relationship with her two adult children who have moved halfway across the country. The main character is depicted as sex-starved, impulsive, and dependent on her children to the point of existential crisis; she wonders at one point, "If I'm not your mother, do I even exist?" Language includes her calling someone a "d--k" and a couple of non-sexual references to breasts and a penis. Everyone in the show drinks wine, the young adults drink beer in a bar, and pot shops are referenced.
Is It Any Good?
Finding a balance between helicopter mom and negligent mom is a constant struggle for many mothers, but we'd all be hard-pressed to relate to the mom Kyra Sedgwick plays in this weak sitcom. If you've seen Disney Channel shows, Call Your Mother will feel very familiar, with its cliched characters, "wacky" misunderstandings, and "I've seen them somewhere" cast. Fans who know Sedgwick best from Singles or The Closer will be disappointed with the sloppy material covering a topic that will hit close to home for parents of teens and older -- the peril and promise of being an empty nester. More encouraging is the adult kids' relationship; they have a conversation over beers about their oft-difficult mother that will feel familiar to some adult siblings who have divergent ideas about how to deal with aging parents. In a time of "podding" the message about making your family your village may resonate with some viewers; most others would be better off spending 22 minutes calling their own mother instead of watching.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.