A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the main character in this sitcom is a recently divorced man; some of the show's situations and humor might be hard to watch for families dealing with similar issues of their own. Although Gary gets along with his ex-wife, they do exchange some tense quips. There are also some stereotypical references about ex-wives being controlling and divorced dads being out of touch with their kids' needs. While the language is mild, there's some sexual innuendo (some of which will go over younger viewers' head), at least one subtle reference to inappropriate online relationships, and references to beer and drinking.
What's the story?
GARY UNMARRIED follows newly divorced Gary Brooks (Jay Mohr) as he adjusts to being single after 15 years of marriage. It takes some getting used to, especially when it comes to sharing the responsibility for raising his kids -- teenage Tom (Ryan Malgarini) and cerebral Louise (Kathryn Newton) -- with ex-wife Allison (Paula Marshall). Gary's efforts to re-enter the dating scene lead to some awkward beginnings with new girlfriend Vanessa Flood (Jaime King), as well as to some bad advice from friend/employee Dennis Lopez (Al Madrigal). Making things even trickier is Allison's romantic relationship with their former marriage counselor, Dr. Walter Krandall (Ed Begley Jr.).
Is it any good?
Garry Unmarried is an amusing look at some of the challenges that men face when facing life after marriage. Overall, it sends a positive message about how it's possible for ex-spouses to get along with each other and put their children above everything else. That said, the show does fall back on some stereotypes about divorced couple: Allison often comes across as a controlling ex-wife and strict parent, while Gary is presented as the kids' fun, rule-bending father who lacks the intuition to understand his progeny's needs.
Despite these iffy characterizations and sometimes-biting quips between the exes -- plus some innuendo, drinking, and marital tension -- the show offers an optimistic, heartfelt view of one man's life and relationships. Although much of the racier content will go over kids' head, it's still mature enough that it's a more age-appropriate fit for young teens mature enough to handle the material.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media presents divorced parents. Do you think divorced mothers are portrayed differently than divorced dads? If so, why and how? Do you think TV series and movies that show ex-spouses getting along are realistic? Families can also discuss the impact that divorce can have on families. What are some of the challenges kids face when their parents can no longer stay married? What are some of the challenges moms and dads face when they have to separate?
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