TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Ellen TV Poster Image
Ramble along with this still-funny sitcom.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Ellen and her circle of friends have their quirks, but are also caring and loyal. Ellen's parents struggle with but ultimately support her when she comes out. Some later secondary characters reject Ellen after learning about her sexual orientation.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ellen and her circle of friends have their quirks, but are also caring and loyal. Ellen's parents struggle with but ultimately support her when she comes out. Some later secondary characters reject Ellen after learning about her sexual orientation.


Occasional references to sexual behavior. Kissing, including same-sex kissing, is sometimes visible.


Rare use of mild words like "damn" and "crap."


Occasional references to animal activist groups and other service-oriented organizations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional alcohol consumption by adults, which sometimes leads to intoxication.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this show focuses on the importance of friends and family, despite their flaws and imperfect natures. It also highlights the idea that humor can be found in even the most ordinary situations, if we choose to see it. Parents should also know that later episodes of the series (those filmed after star Ellen DeGeneres came out in real life) focus on homosexuality and same-sex relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDavid W. August 24, 2020

Ellen DeGeneres is the TRUE Wicked Witch of the West

Ellen DeGeneres is a very mean, spiteful human being! Her "BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER" mantra is so fake! If you don't mean it, don't say it! Sh... Continue reading
Adult Written byFilmFanatic September 21, 2013

Funny but some innuendo and raises questions about sexual orientation.

Great positive messages and laugh out loud humor. Parents might want to watch out for some sexual references and many dating scenarios. From season four and up,... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymambobird March 28, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written byDemilovatofan249 April 18, 2010

What's the story?

Based on the stand-up comedy of Ellen DeGeneres, ELLEN centers on Ellen Morgan (DeGeneres), a quirky, single, thirtysomething, vegetarian, animal-loving bookstore owner living in Los Angeles who deals with the everyday trials and tribulations of life by keeping a positive attitude, maintaining her sense of humor, and rambling excessively. With the help of her roommate, photographer Adam Green (Arye Gross); her narcissistic, social-climbing high school friend Paige Clark (Joely Fisher); annoying but loveable co-book store employee Audrey Penney (Clea Lewis); and Canadian coffee server Joe Farrell (David Anthony Higgins), Ellen's daily activities turn into absurd situations. In later seasons cousin Spence Kovak (Jeremy Piven) moves in, adding to both Ellen's circle of friends and her zany adventures. The pressure that Ellen's parents Lois (Alice Hirson) and Harold (Steven Gilborn) put on her to get married and "settled down" leads to painfully awkward dating scenarios, but much of this awkwardness is explained away after Ellen's groundbreaking announcement in Season 4 that she's a lesbian.

Is it any good?

While's Ellen's coming out made TV history and opened the door for other openly gay characters to appear on mainstream television, Ellen Morgan's coming out led the series away from poking fun at the mundane to addressing serious issues surrounding sexual orientation and same-sex relationships. Regardless of this shift, Ellen is never salacious in nature and remains a funny ensemble series that reminds viewrs that even the most ordinary activities can become hilarious if we let ourselves laugh.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of having a positive attitude in even the worst situations. How can your attitude impact the way you cope with awkward or difficult situations? When is and isn't it appropriate to use humor as a way to diffuse difficult situations? Families may also want to discuss sexual orientation and the challenges people face when coming to terms with their own sexuality.

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