Carol's Second Act

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Carol's Second Act TV Poster Image
Seasoned intern wins fans in heartwarming comedy.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

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.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

As a middle-aged woman embarking on a demanding new medical career, Carol challenges stereotypes about age and ability. Her unique perspective makes her a surprisingly valuable asset in the hospital and among her coworkers, even if her age inspires plenty of jokes at her expense. Racial diversity exists among the hospital staff, and their duties also challenge traditional gender norms with a female doctor at the helm and a male nurse prominent in the show.


Positive Role Models

Carol is outspoken and self-confident, despite the teasing she endures because of her advanced age. She has a strict code of behavior that causes her to disobey her superiors at times but always for good reason. It takes time, but eventually she wins over her peers and superiors with her sunny demeanor and determination to succeed. A main character identifies as queer. 



References to "boner pills" and "horny teenagers." Some suggestive flirting.



Rarely "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Carol's Second Act is a funny, heartwarming series about a 50-year-old woman reinventing her life by becoming a doctor as a second career. The story often makes light of her advanced age relative to her peers', but these instances allow her to prove her unique value as both an eager student and an emotionally settled adult with both life experience and mature perspective. As such, her age becomes a benefit to herself and to her coworkers and challenges the norms accordingly. Expect occasional mention of matters like "horny teenagers" and "boner pills." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIsntitobvious October 17, 2019

Heaton Is Supporting Actress, NOT STAR!

The acting is second rate which is why Heaton never had her own television show by her older age. The network is grasping at a name to get viewers, but don... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byThatgurl May 2, 2020

Entertaining and halarious!

It's very funny and always interesting. Most episodes are very family friendly but, there is one that you might want to skip if you're watching with k... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byQwertygrande September 30, 2019


I think this show is very good, very classy. And would recommend it for families. Please try it out id you haven't already!

What's the story?

In CAROL'S SECOND ACT, divorcee Carol Kenney (Patricia Heaton) embarks on a second career as a doctor after retiring from teaching. Being the only "late-middle-aged" intern poses some unique challenges, but Carol wins over her peers -- Danny (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), Lexie (Sabrina Jalees), and Caleb (Lucas Neff) -- with her enthusiasm and her resilience. Even her no-nonsense boss, Dr. Jacobs (Ito Aghayere), comes to see that Carol's unique perspective on life and patient care is an unexpected asset to the hospital, even if it is disruptive to the tight ship she attempts to run.

Is it any good?

Heaton's wholehearted embrace of this show's titular character advances this feel-good comedy series beyond what otherwise might be expected. Carol is a whirlwind of excitement, determination, passion, and opinion, unwilling to allow her age to be a detriment and always finding a way to use it to her advantage. By so doing, she proves her worth to those around her and reminds viewers that age is merely a number, not a definition.

Carol's Second Act surrounds its main character with a capable supporting cast, each of whom has his or her own personality flaws that add humor to the story and invitations to Carol to wield her uncanny knack for resolving conflict. As she is pulled in different directions and at times called on to mother, counsel, referee, support, and question authority, she embodies the worth of an often-overlooked  segment of society with valuable life experience and intuition.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Carol an asset to her coworkers and friends. What character strengths like compassion and respect set her apart from the other interns? Is a person's life experience a marketable characteristic in the real world? Should it be more so than it is? Why or why not?

  • To what degree does Carol's Second Act challenge stereotypes about age, gender, and race? How is society changing with regard to diversity of thought and ability? Are all of these changes positive ones?

  • Does this show's setting in a hospital make the comedy more or less effective? Does it make you wonder about similar office politics and human folly in actual hospitals? To what degree does entertainment reflect reality and vice versa?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sitcoms

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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