A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Family unity is stressed on the show, and the family members love and care for one another, though plenty of irresponsible behavior is on display.
Positive Role Models
Though Polly's parents are frequently criticized for their actions and personalities, they are comfortable with themselves, which sends a powerful message that people can enjoy themselves and their lives at any age. Polly is separated from her husband and is doing the best she can to raise her daughter. Some characters make iffy decisions about drinking, etc., but consequences are usually appropriate.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many explicit references to sex, including a woman who claims she's "very proud of her orgasms," and says she had sex with every man (and one woman) in her improv class. There are also references to orgies, jokes about testicular cancer, and sounds that the viewer assumes are lovemaking (but which turn out to be weight-lifting).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some cursing: "Those bastards!" Bleeped cursing is also used for comic effect, with characters letting loose as the viewer hears lots of bleeping and the actors' mouths are blurred.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some scenes take place in bars, with characters ordering cocktails; one character questions whether drinking is a good idea since he'd taken a prescription medication to calm down. That character is then seen staggering and threatening to vomit. The grandmother character drinks frequently, but doesn't seem drunk.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) is a sitcom about a non-traditional family situation with a lot of coarse sex-and-drugs humor. The show's grandmother figure is presented as a free spirit with a licentious past that is discussed frequently; she also makes many references to drugs and alcohol and enthusiastically drinks onscreen (though doesn't get drunk). One character survived testicular cancer, and there are many jokes about "taking his ball" and missing balls. Despite the many off-color jokes, the show revolves around a loving, supportive family and wouldn't be the worst things kids could see on TV, though parents will want to watch with them to counter any iffy messages.
Is It Any Good?
How to Live with Your Parents so clearly wants to be Modern Family, and it does share some of the same DNA: Veteran actors (it's great to see Elizabeth Perkins again!), a mix of funny and heart, snappy comic lines: "It was great to hear about your orgies," Polly ironically complains to her mom. "Oh, orgy, please, it was some half-hearted groping and then we ate a wheel of brie," Perkins breezes.
Unfortunately, also like Modern Family (particularly in later seasons), How to Live inserts a lot of wacky hijinks into the goings on, such as having Polly's ex drop by when she's on a date and then forgetting to put the brakes on his car, which rolls into a ditch. It doesn't work. If a show is going to have hijinks, it has to also give up on the idea of making us misty-eyed. Think Arrested Development, which never went for schmaltz. If How to Live wants the audience on-board for tender moments, it'd be wise to cut down on the sitcom-style over-the-topness. But with a great cast equipped with sharp dialogue, How to Live has potential.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Sitcoms for Your Next Family Binge-Watch
Comedy TV Shows for Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate