Good Trouble

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Good Trouble TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Fosters spin-off is a little racier but sweet and lovable.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

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

Positive Messages

Strong themes of empathy, integrity, and perseverance are found in plotlines about work, friendship, romantic complications that emphasize caring about others, standing up for yourself, and living up to your word. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Callie and Mariana are both responsible, caring, loving women who have good jobs as well as dreams and the willingness to put in the work to make them become reality. Each makes mistakes, but atones for them and makes amends. The cast boasts extensive racial and ethnic diversity, as well as a "body positive" character with a larger body type and great confidence about it, a proud lesbian character (in addition to Mariana and Callie's moms), and a character who is bisexual. 


Violence generally takes the form of discussions about criminal cases Callie is involved in as a law clerk, but in the show's pilot, Mariana drives while texting and a meme "don't drive while inTEXTicated" pops up, seemingly making light of her habit. 


Characters are single and interested in romance; expect kissing, flirting, dating, references to sex, making out that leads to implied sex, usually with shirtless guys and women in underwear with lots of skin but no nudity. Bodies are visible in non-sexual contexts too, like when a woman is seen from the rear blow-drying her hair in underwear, no bra. Sex is referred to as "smashing," and a group of young men keep a computer folder with pictures of large-breasted bikini-clad young women (an irritated woman later replaces the pictures with photos of men's chests). 


Language is infrequent but includes "hell," "damn," "s--t," and substituted for the F-word: "freaking." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes take place in bars, with adults drinking (moderately) to lighten their moods and deal with problems; alcohol makes them likely to make riskier choices. A workplace offers craft beer free in its kitchen, and "whiskey Fridays" at work. A man and woman share a joint. Drugs may appear as an element of criminal cases in Callie's work. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Good Trouble is a spin-off of The Fosters about two of that family's daughters moving to Los Angeles after graduating from college. Content is frequently more mature than what's found on The Fosters, where the characters were teens instead of adults. Characters are single and looking for romance; they flirt, date, kiss, even indulge in spontaneous casual sex with same- and opposite-sex partners. Viewers see lots of skin in makeout sessions but no nudity; bodies are also seen in non-sexual contexts like swimming and in a unisex bathroom. Violence is mild and usually confined to information about criminal cases one character is involved in, but in one scene a character texts while driving. Adults drink frequently and sometimes heavily, making risky choices while drinking; some scenes also show characters smoking marijuana. A workplace routinely offers free drinks to employees. Language is usually mild: "damn," "hell," "s--t." The cast boasts extensive diversity: racial, ethnic, socio-economic, gender, sexuality, body type. Characters are powerful role models -- hard-working young people with principles and strong relationships with family and friends. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byprincesscupcake683 January 8, 2019

Rare example of a good spinoff

Very rarely is a spin off or sequel of a beloved TV show as good, let alone better, as the original. Some of the things I have loved about the original Fosters... Continue reading
Parent of a 15-year-old Written bybulldog2019 January 9, 2019

wasnt a fan of the fosters but this is riviting

okay so having a teenage daughter who im always trying to find ways to fit time with in and this seems to be a winner i didnt like the fosters that much howev... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byItsAVibe August 14, 2019

Give it a chance

It has some progressive messages, for example : Mariana is a MIT gradute trying to make it in an industry full of men, not letting a boy get between a friendshi... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byLyla R. January 6, 2019


It's much racier than The Fosters. There is already a ton of sex in the pilot episode. Mature teens can handle it though. Mariana and Callie navigate L.A o... Continue reading

What's the story?

After leaving the comfy blended-family home they grew up in on The Fosters, Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) and Callie (Maia Mitchell) are new college graduates ready to start their grown up lives and get into GOOD TROUBLE. The sisters start by relocating to Los Angeles, where they move into an old converted movie palace right in the heart of downtown with a cast of vibrant co-housers. With housing settled, it's time to take on two more of the major prongs of adult life: work and romance. Their moms are never more than a phone call away, but these sisters are determined to make it on their own -- together. 

Is it any good?

Borrowing its earnest and relatable tone from parent show The Fosters, this spin-off ages Mariana and Callie up into young adults entertainingly stumbling into maturity. First mistake: They choose an apartment sight-unseen, with their meager budget forcing them to choose a dusty shared room in a "communal living" community where everyone shares the kitchen, the bathroom, and the rat problem. But winningly, the other Generation Z residents of the "Coterie" turn out to be quirky and supportive, ready to debate social justice issues over shared dinners and to chip in with donated furniture once they find out all of Mariana and Callie's stuff was ripped off their first night. 

There's even more juicy dramatic potential at work in Good Trouble, where each heroine is saddled with satisfyingly meaty work problems. Mariana parlays her MIT education into a plum job at the kind of tech startup with kombucha on tap in the kitchen but is sidelined by the bros on her team into doing low-level tasks. Meanwhile, Callie lands a prestigious law clerkship, but the office is a snakepit, with a mean boss and snotty, scheming coworkers. It won't take long before viewers are drawn into Mariana and Callie's lives, whether they were Fosters fans or not, because this is the best kind of spin-off, staying true to the spirit of the original while widening its focus.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • What does it mean when a series is "spun off" of another series? What other spin-offs can you name? What approach does a spin-off usually take to connecting the new series with the old one? Does Good Trouble follow that pattern? Would you enjoy this show more if you were a fan of The Fosters

  • How would this show change if Callie and Mariana moved to a small town or stayed at home to begin their careers? How does a show's setting affect what you see its characters do and go through? 

  • How do the characters on Good Trouble demonstrate empathy and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love teen drama

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

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