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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 Home Economics is a family show about three adult siblings who have very different financial situations. Eldest Tom is an author who's hit a dry period and needs to borrow money from his brother; middle child Sarah is recently unemployed and lives with her wife and two children in a tiny apartment and drives an old clunker; and youngest Connor has a private equity firm and has just moved to a new home with a panoramic view of San Francisco and stuffed with toys, candy, and other goodies. Though all three siblings have children, the focus is on the adults, and some of their quips about money, race, and sex will go over younger kids' heads ("It's like an American Girl store knocked up a Sephora"). Connor's consumerism is depicted as over the top, but the siblings still covet his belongings and lifestyle.
Season two upped the sex
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Amazing and Hilarious! Great for families!
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What's the Story?
At the center of HOME ECONOMICS is Tom Hayworth (Topher Grace, also executive producer), a best-selling novelist whose latest work sold very poorly. With three young kids and his wife not working, Tom needs to ask his rich little brother Connor (Jimmy Tatro, best known from American Vandal) for a loan, plus he's secretly writing a book about the siblings' relationships.
Their sister Sarah is a recently unemployed child therapist who lives with her wife and two kids in a tiny apartment. The siblings convene at Connor's grand new house (previously owned by Matt Damon), which is like a residential Disneyland for both children and adults. Though they jibe at each other, the siblings love each other at their core, and they'll learn how to navigate the differences of their economic circumstances.
Is It Any Good?
Anyone who has relatives or friends who became unexpectedly wealthy (tech and cybercurrency are common themes) will relate to the Hayworth siblings in this rare U.S. sitcom that tackles income inequality. Set in the San Francisco Bay Area, Home Economics acknowledges that the tech boom of the past couple of decades has required many to navigate the often uncomfortable (and arguably unfair) reality that school therapists may live modestly, paycheck to paycheck, while a close relative can buy a multimillion-dollar house in cash.
Lots of little exchanges signal the writers' comfort with an array of economic, family, social, and racial dynamics. Tom's wife Marina, for example, speaks Spanish to his live-in nanny Lupe, and Lupe denigrates her for being Mexican (she's Colombian). Tom and Sarah say between themselves that their brother's house is "obscene" but rave about it to his face, and their parents barely acknowledge Sarah when faced with their wealthier, more conventionally successful sons. With the income gap growing in the U.S., particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Home Economics offers relevant, easy-to-swallow lessons for both sides of the divide.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how wealth disparity among family members is handled in Home Economics. Do you find it realistic? What does it tell you about the work that is lucrative verses work that pays less?
How do the characters in Home Economics demonstrate compassion, empathy, and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?
How does your family compare to the characters in this show? What aspects of your family might be considered non-traditional? How do the characters change over the course of the series? In what ways does this indicate emotional growth on their part?
- Premiere date: April 7, 2021
- Cast: Topher Grace, Caitlin McGee, Jimmy Tatro
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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For kids who love family sitcoms
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