If Loving You Is Wrong

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
If Loving You Is Wrong TV Poster Image
Lust, drinking, domestic violence on soapy primetime drama.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Family values are front and center on the show, and parents are fallible people who make mistakes but may not learn from them. Deception is frequent on this soap but is usually followed by comeuppance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters mean well but make poor choices frequently. In true soapy style, they enjoy (but then regret) their trespasses.


One character is abusive to his wife; we see him gripping her roughly as she begs him to let go. Jealous male characters threaten others with violence.


No nudity, but frequent scenes of infidelity, couples together in bed, and sex talk. Characters regret cheating on spouses, but their love scenes are played up with dramatic staging and music, which subverts that message.


Mild cursing such as "You're damn right" in every show; gendered epithets such as "I'm not going to be disrespected by this bitch."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink on-screen, act drunk, and make poor choices when drinking, using alcohol as an excuse.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that If Loving You Is Wrong is a prime-time soap opera about a group of neighbors. In true soap opera fashion, particularly the nighttime variety, most of the drama comes from the characters' foibles. They deceive coworkers and bosses, cheat on their spouses, lie to their neighbors, and have terrible secrets that they eventually reveal with great fanfare. Viewers can expect to see many, many scenes of couples in bed or making out passionately in other locales, references to sex, unexpected pregnancies, infidelity, and sex scenes with no nudity but with moaning and writhing. One character is attempting to rid herself of a jealous and abusive ex-spouse; viewers will see him grabbing and handling her roughly as she begs for him to stop. He also screams that he won't be "disrespected by this bitch" and threatens violence due to sexual jealousy. Characters drink on-screen and act drunk, making poor choices and blaming alcohol.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDeJuan Edwards January 19, 2020

Did Tyler bump his head before writing?

I literally said ok I am done when I got to the part where after they saved Alex’s baby from being dropped in the water by her racist mother(which by the way,... Continue reading
Adult Written byJaex0 May 19, 2019

Trainwreck that you can’t look away from

I honestly just started to watch this show on Hulu after my boyfriend recommended it to me. It is the worst show I have ever seen in my life, and I am not exagg... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byPlutopiaz February 19, 2021

So bad its good.

Its not for the faint hearted, still a good show though.

What's the story?

In director Tyler Perry's hour-long nighttime soap IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG, a group of good-looking neighbors in a suburb lead interconnected lives. Alex (Amanda Clayton) has a hot husband, Brad (Aiden Turner), with whom she's falling out of love, particularly since she's started having an affair with her neighbor (and Brad's pal) Randal (Eltony Williams). A positive pregnancy test adds immensely to the complications. Meanwhile, Randal's long-suffering wife, Marcie (Heather Hemmens), is always rushing around with her busy real estate job, which brings her in contact with Natalie (April Parker Jones), a forthright single mom with four kids and a big secret. Esperanza (Zulay Henao) is trying to escape the clutches of her frightening ex, Edward (Joel Rush), in the arms of new flame Julius (Octavio Pizano), and Kelly (Edwina Findley Dickerson) is attempting to stay focused on her career and raising her young son after the death of her husband.

Is it any good?

Despite the decades and cultural gap that separate them, If Loving You Is Wrong resembles nothing so much as vintage Aaron Spelling soap Melrose Place. Did Tyler Perry -- whose other steamy soap, The Haves and the Have Notshas already carved itself a significant niche on OWN -- have this television touchstone in mind when he conceived of a soap built around a group of hot neighbors? Maybe, maybe not, but there's no denying that If Loving You has a similar vibe, as excitable neighbors meet each other, fall in forbidden love, conduct clandestine affairs, blow up their marriages, and start all over again.

The fact that the characters on this show are multi-ethnic, mostly African-American, gives If Loving You a hint of freshness, but basically these are the same old soap opera tropes you've seen before. Teens, however, may not have seen them, and their heads may be turned by all the sex and drama. If parents let them watch at all, they may want to watch along to counter any iffy messages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the tradition of soap operas. When do they air on television? Who is the audience? What type of advertising and media attention do they attract?

  • Does If Loving You Is Wrong remind you of any other shows? Which ones? Is this show better or not as good? Why?

  • Are the characters on If Loving You Is Wrong wealthy or poor? How can you tell? How will the characters' social class affect the types of problems they will face on the show?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate