Council of Dads

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Council of Dads TV Poster Image
Extended family drama about illness is weepy, sentimental.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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

Positive Messages

Family and friendship are central to the show. So is grieving the loss of a husband, parent, and friend. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Council of Dads mentors the family in different ways. The family is very diverse, and includes children who are transgendered and from different multi racial/ethnic backgrounds. The men are also very different in personality and profession.


Illness and fear of death are themes. There are occasional angry outbursts, but they ultimately lead to constructive moments. 


There are references to having sex. Pregnancy is a theme. 


Mild profanity like "damn" is sometimes used.


A Ford truck is visible; logos aren't prominently featured. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer, and one major character is a recovering alcoholic.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Council of Dads is a dramatic series based on the 2010 memoir by Bruce Feiler about a diverse family that changes and grows with the help of friends after a parent is diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness. There are lots of positive moments, but it contains some innuendo, including references to having sex and pregnancy. Themes like death, illness, the misunderstanding of transgender children, and the challenges of marriage might be too mature for younger viewers. It’s not violent, and occasional verbal outbursts are dealt with constructively. There’s some drinking, and alcoholism is a recurring theme. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywstar1963 March 25, 2020

Great until child dictates her sex.

The wife and I were enjoying the story until gramma makes the daughter put on a dress. Great, a 7 year old gets to dictate to their weak minded parents what sh... Continue reading
Adult Written byBjspk March 27, 2020

What else do they think we should watch?

Ahhh, what a searing disappointment. I was looking forward to this pilot. However, if Jerry Bruckheimer, operating under a vacuous, misguided delusion, thought... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Based on the 2010 memoir of the same name, COUNCIL OF DADS tells the story of a family that changes and grows after an unexpected event turns their lives upside down. Scott Perry (Tom Everett Scott), his wife Robin (Sarah Wayne Callies), and their kids, teenager Theo (Emjay Anthony), the brainy Charlotte (Thalia Tran), J.J. (Blue Chapman), adult daughter Luly (Michele Weaver), and new baby Hope, live an idyllic life in Savannah, Georgia. But when Scott is diagnosed with cancer, their lives are profoundly changed. Concerned about being unable to help his family, he calls on his oldest friend and chef Anthony Lavelle (Clive Standen), AA sponsor Larry Mills (Michael O’Neill), and Robin’s best friend and colleague, Dr. Oliver Post (J. August Richards), to serve on the “Council of Dads,” which is charged with stepping in and supporting the family as back-up fathers. The very different men are more than happy to do it, and soon realize that this is one of the most important roles they will ever have. 

Is it any good?

This dramatic series offers lots of heartwarming moments as the family copes with loss and embraces new members. However, it isn’t very original, due to the formulaic storylines and painfully predictable dialogue already made popular by shows like This is Us and Parenthood. The efforts made to portray a contemporary extended family are so obvious that it feels cliché. But the story is full of emotional moments, and despite being able to predict what’s coming, you might shed a tear or two. Council Of Dads is a positive, heartwarming series, and folks who like this sort of sentimental entertainment will probably find it worth the watch. But if you’re looking for something original or refreshing, you might have better luck elsewhere. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Council Of Dads is adapted from a popular memoir. Do you think it works? What changes were made to make it suitable and entertaining for a TV audience?

  • Can dramatic TV shows like this one be used to teach young viewers life skills and help them build character strengths like compassion and perseverance? Or do you think these types of shows really just meant to entertain viewers who like emotional drama? 

  • What makes a TV series strike the right emotional tone? Can you think of any shows you've watched that have gone from entertainingly dramatic to over-the-top and mushy?

TV details

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