A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show deals with many controversial issues, including racism, homosexuality, AIDS, domestic violence, and sexual harassment. The discussions of these issues are often feminist in nature and focus on being socially aware and morally responsible.
Positive Role Models
Strong, independent female role models (even Suzanne) who demonstrate compassion.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional discussions of violence against women.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild references to sexual behavior. Lots of dating and romance.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional references to alcohol, including wine and homemade alcoholic beverages. Characters rarely smoke, but when they do, it's treated as negative behavior.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Designing Women takes on strong, sometimes-controversial topics (AIDS, racism, etc.) from a feminist point of view. There are also occasional non-explicit references to sexual behavior (after all, the women do have "designs"). Perhaps most significantly, this series emphasizes strong, independent female roles and discusses important social and moral issues.
Is It Any Good?
This feminist-leaning, sometimes-controversial show examines some of the prominent themes of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Characters grapple with larger political, social, and moral issues while they struggle to resolve their professional and personal problems. Designing Women also tackles issues like domestic violence, AIDS, racism, sexual harassment, and attitudes toward the overweight; their opinions are often summarized by Julia during her many indignant speeches about the world's injustices.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
Positive Role Model TV for Girls
Movies with Strong Female Characters
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