Jack and Bobby TV Poster Image

Jack and Bobby



Thoughtful but edgy examination of two brothers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Uses a negative example (the mom is a pothead) but to good end.


A fistfight between two ninth graders.


High school crush stuff.


Some strong language at the beginning from the teens.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The first episode plot revolves around pot.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the mother is caught in a lie about the identity of her sons' father, and that her addiction to marijuana impacts her younger son Bobby in two ways. First, it makes him sad that she's addicted and second, he steals her pot in the first episode to bribe his way into a cooler gang at school.

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What's the story?

In JACK AND BOBBY, the story tellers behind Everwood, Dawson's Creek, The West Wing and Ally McBeal tell the story of two high school brothers and their single mother (played forcefully by Academy Award winner Christine Lahti). One of the brothers will become president one day. The show's conceit is that we get to see what goes into the making of the character of a future leader. Set in present day, with flash-forward interviews of future-President McCallister's White House staffers and first lady, it's a snapshot of a young man being molded to beat the odds and become the mid-century's greatest presidential leader.

Is it any good?


The show doesn't back away from controversial subjects but treats them seriously. For example, in the premiere episode, Bobby (the future president) steals his mother's pot in order to be better liked at school; his brother lies for him even though it means he is punished by the school as well. The mother is overbearing and flawed and has lied to her younger son about his father's true identity. In other hands, this could be handled melodramatically, but this initial episode treats the material with deftness.

Parents should keep an eye on the show because it can easily topple over into sensationalism and exploit this tense set-up. But this is one of those rare shows that should be watched and discussed with your high school-aged teens, because it brings up important issues of character and human flaws.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about peer pressure, honesty, and disappointment in parents and sibling relationships.

TV details

Premiere date:September 12, 2004
Cast:John Slattery, Logan Lerman, Matt Long
TV rating:TV-14

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Adult Written byMYOS April 9, 2008

Must see for families with kids in their teens and in college

This show isn't afraid of tackling important issues but does so in an entertaining way. Its premise is that one of the two boys becomes a great president, but for now he's only a teenager. We see glimpses of the future in order to reflect on what shapes kids' lives. Each show presents different aspects of a value as it impacts two teens (13 and 16) and their single mother. You may not always agree with what is presented but the goal is to foster family discussion -- And it is highly successful at that. Probably the best family drama on TV right now. Entertainment for the family with a brain. :-)
Adult Written byjjlove65 April 9, 2008

The best family show on tv

Jack & Bobby is a show that looks at realistic issues. It does not pretend that life is perfect, but instead chooses to highlight the struggles, insecurities, and fears that we all have. It may center on a dysfunctional family, but the issues explored can provoke so much positive discussion. The writing is incredibly intelligent and the acting strong. This is coming from a university student studying to become a teacher. Jack & Bobby is the best excuse for an intelligent and provocative discussion that I have seen on TV for a long time.
Teen, 17 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

hot guys, cool plot

Initially I watched because of the hot actors and because my parents think it's 'educational' because they always want to talk about it so it doesn't count in my "TV hours for the week". But now I'm sucked in. I love this show. It's often hilarious, even though it's a drama. I love the characters and the stories. The Mom isn't perfect but she's trying. Plus I like how she likes a younger guy because my dad's younger too and you never see that on TV. Jack struggles with his feelings and he's popular but his girlfriend is so annoying. I love Bobby. I wish my little brother were like him! It makes me want to get into politics. I mean, it's like two normal kids and it could be me. (But my Mom says I'm too idealistic. So what? THAT's the point!)


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