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 Grandfathered is a comedy about a lothario restaurateur who suddenly finds he has a son and granddaughter he didn't know about. There are lots of jokes about sex; body parts and casual sex are shown, and there are lots of references to Jimmy's robust sex life -- an army of attractive young women find our male main character irresistible. Cursing includes "What the hell?" and "You little bastard" as well as language such as "I suck at this." Violence is cartoonish; a man slaps another at a perceived insult, and a woman threatens to choke a man when irritated. The show follows the usual sitcom rules, but its stars are charming and push through the clichés to create an entertaining comedy.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
When the adult son he knew nothing about suddenly walks into his chic restaurant with toddler daughter in tow, Jimmy Martino (John Stamos) suddenly finds himself GRANDFATHERED. A grandfather? How could it be? At only 50, Jimmy still frequently charms the pants off the much-younger women who frequent his restaurant. Yet there's no denying that Gerald (Josh Peck) is the son of Jimmy's ex Sara (Paget Brewster). Jimmy's always claimed he wanted a family; here's a ready-made one, complete with a son who needs his dad's advice to land Vanessa (Christina Milian), who had his baby but doesn't seem to want to go on a date with him. Can something like a functioning family be made from all these complications?
Is it any good?
Single-camera sitcoms about unconventional families are a TV trope, but when they work, as this one does, they're just the kind of comfort viewing you need for a lazy family-at-home date. Make no mistake: Grandfathered is loaded with seen-it-before chestnuts. In the very first episode, Gerald suddenly needs a babysitter for little Edie, so (of course!) he asks the dad he's known for all of 10 minutes of screen time, who (of course!) finds he must take the baby to his restaurant, where (you guessed it!) a high-stakes dinner is in progress, and then the baby spikes a fever, necessitating a heart-tugging concerned run to the emergency room, where the whole kooky clan can get together and then eat some takeout to the strains of emotional music. Oh, and Jimmy uses a meat thermometer to take the baby's temperature. Rectally.
All that said, Stamos is just as adorable and charming as he ever was, well able to put forth admittedly clever lines. Paget Brewster is just as cute and incidentally as well-preserved (their son looks approximately the same age as his parents), and though the hijinks are super sitcommy, there are good gags and emotional beats that may have viewers blinking away tears, surprised that they let a manipulative sitcom twist get under their skin thanks to good acting and comedic timing. This sitcom is a little silly and stale, but it's also pretty sweet and affecting, in the Modern Family mode. If that show is family viewing material for your brood, maybe this should be too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the premise of Grandfathered. How likely is it that a woman would give birth to a child and not tell the father? How likely is it that that child would then want to have a close relationship with his father as an adult?
Is the audience supposed to approve of Jimmy? To like him? How can you tell?