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 this sitcom about a sophisticated New York City family that moves to small-town Virginia to rebuild their lives after the economic downturn mixes some typical sitcom dsyfunction with positive themes about starting over and reconnecting with loved ones. Expect some salty (“bastards," “damn," “hell”), sexual innuendo, and drinking (mostly beer). Hank and his family sometimes make snobby/classist remarks about the residents of their new town, though it's all played for humor.
What's the story?
Hank Pryor (Kelsey Grammer) is a self-made CEO who loses everything after the hostile takeover of his company. Hoping to relaunch his career, he moves his wife, Tilly (Melinda McGraw); his moody teenage daughter, Maddie (Jordan Hinson); and his eccentric son, Henry (Nathan Gamble) back to their hometown of River Bend, Virginia. Despite his “can do” attitude, Hank soon discovers that it isn’t easy leaving the glitz and glamour of New York City behind, especially when he has to live near his brother-in-law, Grady (David Koechner), a contractor who seems delighted about Hank's recent failure. Hank also has to find a way to relate to his children, who don't respond well to his corporate-like way of thinking. But Hank is up to facing these challenges with a positive spirit and plans to re-establish himself as soon as possible.
Is it any good?
HANK puts a comic spin on the downsizing that many families have dealt with as a consequence of today’s economic climate. Although the idea of losing everything and starting over isn’t usually very funny, Grammer’s trademark quick and intelligent banter makes the show entertaining.
It's smartly written, but expect some sexual innuendo and robust language that aren't intended for younger viewers. Some of the stereotypical remarks about country living -- although intended to spark laughs -- are a bit iffy, too But overall, the series offers positive messages about starting over and appreciating family.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how realistic most sitcom families seem. Do the Pryors seem like people you know? Do other sitcom families?
Is it ever appropriate to use stereotypes as a source of humor? Why or why not?
What do you think it would be like to move from an upscale urban environment to a remote country home? What are some of the benefits of living in the country vs. the city? Drawbacks?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love comedies
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