Family Tools



Dysfunctional family biz sitcom has sexual humor.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show centers on a supposedly close family -- and there are some sweet moments -- however, those family bonds are often subverted by sitcom style mugging, i.e. a sister allows her brother to lie on the floor having a heart attack until he agrees to something. There is some racial and gay humor in some episodes.

Positive role models

Most of the characters on Family Tools are decent and upright, however, two characters are defined largely by their sexuality -- one as a ladies man and the other as a flirt. A male character in particular is chiefly distinguished by how much time he spends "scoring tail."


Some pratfall-style humor, i.e. Jack accidentally nail-guns his foot to a deck he is building.


One character flirts constantly and makes many double entendres; her brother calls her a "slut." Another is apparently promiscuous -- he makes references to "boning," jumping someone's bones, etc.


Occasional language: "You're an ass." "What the hell is that smell?" There is also racial and gay humor: "pimp juice," "fruit loop."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some references to drinking beer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Family Tools is a multi-camera sitcom that draws much of its humor from the dysfunction of the central family and their friends. Two characters' sexuality is a major source of comedy -- one is a ladies man who talks about "boning" frequently, while his sister flirts nonstop with lots of innuendo. Along with some sexual language, there are also mild curses and insults. An elderly, wheelchair-bound character is the brunt of many jokes, and some of the humor uses racially tinged language or implications.

Parents say

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What's the story?

In ABC's multi-camera sitcom FAMILY TOOLS, Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer) has tried a lot of careers: Navy SEAL, park ranger, police officer, and most recently, he's been kicked out of seminary school. His long-suffering father Tony (J.K. Simmons) thinks his son's too much of a screwup to take over his handyman business, Mr. Jiffy Fix. But when Tony suffers a heart attack, his sister Terry (Leah Remini) refuses to let the emergency responders in unless he agrees to let Jack replace him. Now Jack must share a basement room with Terry's sweet-but-awkward son Mason (Johnny Pemberton), run the business to his dad's satisfaction, and put up with snippy, horny Mr. Jiffy Fix assistant Darren and his on-the-make sister, Stitch.

Is it any good?


The actors in Family Tools are so much better than the material they're given. Viewers will certainly remember Leah Remini as the priceless wife on King of Queens, and they may very well remember J.K. Simmons as the doting dad of Juno, among other memorable roles. Given good lines, these actors will keep you in stitches, and lead Bornheimer has charm and likability to spare. Unfortunately, the stale sitcomish goings on (Terry blackmails Tony into retiring while he's on the floor having a heart attack? Really?) aren't nearly as charming.

Since Modern Family has done so well for ABC, both in the ratings and in racking up awards, it's easy to see why the network might want to launch a show that's built around another comically incompetent and non-traditional family. Unfortunately, Family Tools can't hold a candle to Modern Family, even the less-sparkling seasons. The dialogue is needlessly crude and not really that funny, the pratfalls and pranks are labored and worst of all, what should be fizzy and airy is just kinda bland and boring. Better luck next time, ABC.

Families can talk about...

  • What sitcoms does Family Tools remind you of? How is it like those sitcoms? How is it different? Take into account characterization, music, costumes, dialogue, etc.

  • Watch an episode of the similarly themed 1990s sitcom Home Improvement. How does that sitcom handle a fix-it business differently than on Family Tools? Do you believe these characters are actually running a business?

  • Does Family Tools present characters of color differently than white characters? How?

TV details

Cast:J.K. Simmons, Kyle Bornheimer, Leah Remini
Topics:Brothers and sisters
TV rating:TV-PG

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBatman101 May 11, 2013


this is a very good show. It is hilarious. there is some sexual stuff and a little bit of language (pimp juice, and other naughty words). the show is a must see. it is very funny.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old May 30, 2013

Corny Show, Gonna Get Cancled, Really ABC?

This is a very dissapointing show and I'm surprised it has lasted longer then that horrible sitcom "Work It". It's kinda good, but they have some really lame puns (like one guy is scared of bare feet) and others are just wrong. Overal I think it is ok,but only watch it if you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to watch on TV.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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