Cold Feet

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Cold Feet TV Poster Image
Adult-targeted British drama has mature themes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Every character is flawed in some way, and many sometimes display poor judgment. A man cheats on his wife, and she turns to alcohol for solace (including while caring for her children).


Allusions to the state of couples' sex lives, mild foreplay (kissing, caressing through clothes) in bed, and discussion of infidelity are common. Occasional scenes of things like nightclub dancers wearing bras and thongs.


"S--t" is heard occasionally.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults often drink in social settings, and a couple smoke off and on. One female character drinks a lot during difficulties in her marriage.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this British drama takes a sometimes painfully realistic look at the difficulties of marriages and families, including fertility concerns, infidelity, balancing careers with family life, and divorce. The subject matter can be quite emotional, especially for adults who can empathize with the characters' inner and interpersonal struggles. Though the content is likely mild enough for most teens, they probably won't fully understand or appreciate the couples' struggles.

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What's the story?

Set in Manchester, England, critically acclaimed drama COLD FEET chronicles the joys and sorrows of three thirtysomething couples. The series follows the lives of Rachel Bradley (Helen Baxendale) and Adam Williams (James Nesbitt), who are newly dating; Jenny (Fay Ripley) and Pete Gifford (John Thomson), who are trying for their first child; and Karen (Hermione Norris) and David Marsden (Robert Bathurst), the parents of a young son. The couples' six-way friendship is a source of strength for all as challenges arise. In later seasons (spoiler alert!), Karen and David expand their family, hire a live-in nanny (Jacey Salles), and find their marriage tested by infidelity. Rachel and Adam marry and pursue adoption after they encounter fertility problems, and Jenny and Pete's relationship reaches a breaking point.

Is it any good?

While the basic content of Cold Feet isn't all that eyebrow-raising -- by today's primetime standards, anyway -- the series does delve into heavy topics like miscarriage, marital strife, balancing career and family, and death, all from mature points of view that teens probably won't be able to relate to. But adults will find that Cold Feet has an enticing realism.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about coping with family problems. What kinds of challenges has your family faced? How has the experience affected you? Did it draw your family closer? Where do you turn for strength in difficult times? Teens: What worries you? How do you handle stress and anxiety related to those worries? Do you talk to your parents about your worries? If not, why? Families can also discuss why this kind of material makes for compelling TV. Does watching other people (even TV characters) deal with their problems make viewers feel better about their own? Is there a voyeuristic appeal?

TV details

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