How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)

Common Sense Media says

Great cast and funny dialogue in coarse family comedy.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

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).

Language

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.

Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

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.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Fed up with her husband's irresponsible ways, Polly (Sarah Chalke) takes her young daughter and moves back in with her free-spirited and sensual mother, Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins) and irascible-yet-loving stepdad Max (Brad Garrett) on HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE). Comic madcappery ensues, both at home and at Polly's place of business, a smoothie counter at a Whole Foods-like store, as Polly attempts to fend off her clinging ex, jump-start her dating life, navigate her parental duties, and make peace with the fact that she's living with her bad-influence parents yet trying to provide her daughter with a moral compass.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about comedy on TV. Does How to Live with Your Parents remind you of any other shows? Which ones? How is How to Live different? Which sitcoms are the funniest? What makes for funny TV?

  • Do the characters on How to Live with Your Parents act like real people? What things do they do that people would not do in real life? Does it make the show funnier, or less funny?

  • Is the viewer supposed to like Polly and her parents? What about their dialogue, costumes, camera angles, etc. give you this idea? What kind of music or sound effects play when these characters are onscreen?

TV details

Cast:Brad Garrett, Elizabeth Perkins, Sarah Chalke
Network:ABC
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass