In the Long Run

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
In the Long Run TV Poster Image
Subtly charming and timely immigration comedy has drinking.

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This light comedy is about the importance of both individuality and family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

At its heart, the show is about immigration and acclimation. Its characters are flawed but human. 


Some light violence that is mostly played for laughs; for example, older kids shake down younger kids for money.


Sex is discussed frequently in complex and mature ways, but it is not shown.


Profanity includes "bastard," "s--t," "damn," etc.


There's some parody of consumerism -- ie, the show takes place in the mid-80s and some characters discover a microwave for the first time.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking is constant, and a preteen is given alcohol multiple times.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that In the Long Run is a British comedy about a working class family of African immigrants and their friends and coworkers partially based on the early life of Idris Elba, who also stars. The show is light in spirit, but deals with the misadventures of a main character, newly arrived Valentine, who lives with his brother's family and does irresponsible things (like giving alcohol to his preteen nephew).

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Kid, 12 years old February 11, 2021

What's the story?

Walter Easmon (Idris Elba) receives a letter from his mother, which explains that his brother Valentine (Jimmy Akingbola) is traveling to England to live with Walter and his wife and son. Valentine has a reputation for loving nightlife -- drinking, dating, and DJing -- and tensions naturally erupt between the brothers as Valentine attempts to find his way in his new home.

Is it any good?

Like many British comedies, this immigrant story is a low-key charmer. It doesn't jump out as being particularly funny, but it tells an important story and develops characters that are worth caring about. And those characters are types that don't typically get seen on television; they're immigrants who struggle with mundane but vital aspects of life in England -- work, health, and family. Families who enjoy British TV and are open to a different kind of story might find a solid pick in this series. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of setting. When and where does this show take place? How does that period differ from the present? What are the cultural differences between then and now?

  • Who are the characters that are immigrants? What do you learn about what their experiences as immigrants? What are the positives? The negative?

TV details

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