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FAM

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
FAM TV Poster Image
Tired comedy full of drug references, teen stereotypes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Family is important.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Clem and Nick, as well as Nick's parents, are loving, patient, understanding couples. Clem's desire to help her sister, even in the face of Shannon's off-putting selfish behavior, presents an almost saintly level of love and compassion.

Violence
Sex

Some sexual innuendo between adult characters; a man is shown wearing nothing but his underwear.

 

Language

"Damn," "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drug jokes. References to dating drug dealers. Older characters get high after accidentally eating a bag of marijuana-laced nuts.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that FAM is a sitcom about a rebellious teenage girl who moves in with her soon-to-be-married sister's (and fiancé's) apartment. There are lots of drug jokes, including about teenagers using drugs, specifically marijuana. It's unclear who this show is meant to appeal to, as the show's reliance on teenage stereotypes and tired generation gap jokes seem imported from another era, but if old-school sitcoms are your bag, you might give this a try.

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What's the story?

FAM tells the story of Clem (The Vampire Diaries' Nina Dobrev) and Nick (Tone Bell), a recently engaged young couple whose life gets thrown a curveball when Clem’s teenaged half-sister, Shannon, re-enters her life after running away from her mother's care. Shannon is a sassy, streetwise high school dropout who comes to Clem only as a last resort. Clem, a former wild child herself, has since gotten her life together and lives with Nick, a cool communications professor who has a great relationship with his parents. Meanwhile, Clem's and Shannon's father is a macho cop who's completely unapologetic about his bad parenting and has no problem refusing Clem's plea to take in Shannon. In an expression of sisterly love, Clem graciously tells Shannon that she can live with her and Nick. 

Is it any good?

A good cast is wasted in this tired, tone-deaf comedy. Teen Shannon is an ungrateful know-it-all whose wisecracks about older people, meaning anyone over 25, are unimaginative, ignorant, and often mean-spirited. And while other characters call her out on behavior, the punchline, and last word, usually goes to Shannon.

Besides the clichéd rebellious teenager schtick, much of the other comedy in FAM comes from jokes about parental neglect and fathers not being capable of raising kids. Humor that relies on these kinds of stereotypes was tired in the '80s, but now it just comes off as irresponsible and lacking any understanding of the current social climate.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of teenagers in sitcoms. Does Shannon seem like a real teen? Why or why not?

  • Families can talk about nontraditional families. How does the arrival of a half-sister change the family dynamic in FAM

TV details

For kids who love sitcoms

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