Joan Knows Best?

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Joan Knows Best? TV Poster Image
Salty talk, stupid schemes fuel famous family's "reality."

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show mainly promotes harmless (put pointless) family drama, but there's a background message that it's important to spend quality time with extended family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You can tell Joan loves her daughter and grandson, but her stunts for the camera promote pointless drama over real communication. She isn't always the best role model for her grandson either, swearing in front of him after Melissa asks her not to and asking him to keep secrets from his mother. At least one episode also deals with Joan's obsession with plastic surgery and her inability to accept herself -- or the aging process.


Light bickering and a few verbal shouting matches.


Sexually charged terms like "whore," "slut," "tramp," "vagina," plus jokes about strippers and sex. An ongoing gag focuses on Melissa's busty nanny, who wears low-cut, suggestive clothing to emphasize her body. There's also some blurred nudity.


Bleeped swearing (from "f--k" to "c--ksucker"), plus audibles like "damn," "hell," "ass," etc.


Some name-dropping and product placement when it comes to the Joan Rivers brand (which includes a line of jewelry, clothing, and make-up).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking with occasional overindulgence played for laughs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality show about a celebrity family focuses on comedian Joan Rivers's relationship with her daughter and grandson, who's about 10 years old. There's salty language (including bleeped instances of words like "f--k" and "c--ksucker") and some sexual content (including blurred nudity and sex jokes), in addition to some social drinking and overindulgence that's played for laughs. You'll also see some heated bickering and hear name-dropping for Joan's various brands.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byRobbyboyfye16 February 13, 2012


good show, but crude and rude slap stick and drinking problems and ridiculas humor
Teen, 14 years old Written byAsh1234791 February 1, 2011

I love it but its has issues..............

I watched this show sense the first one and there is alot of bad things kids should not be watching for example they go to the beach and the nanny takes her top... Continue reading

What's the story?

In JOAN KNOWS BEST?, comedian Joan Rivers decides to rent out her home in Connecticut and move to Los Angeles to live with her daughter, Melissa, and grandson, Cooper. But unbeknown to Joan, the household also includes Melissa's live-in boyfriend, Jason; her best friend, Conrad; Cooper's busty nanny, Dominica; and the Rivers's longtime assistant, Sabrina. Predictably enough, hi-jinks ensue as mother and daughter attempt to share a living space while respecting each other's private lives.

Is it any good?

A respected comedian who's found her niche as a crass critic of red carpet fashion -- and an eye-opening example of plastic surgery excesses -- Joan Rivers is all too aware that she's aging. She's also savvy enough to realize that, in today's 24-7 "infotainment" culture, she's a brand just like any other product, and that if she wants to stay relevant, she's got to work at it. Unfortunately, that's the problem with Joan Knows Best?, which ends up feeling like Joan's working way too hard. Melissa seems like she's along for the ride, while her son, Cooper, is just trying to be a kid.

For a far more fascinating look at the "real" Joan and the way she lives her life, Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's penetrating 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work will show you everything you need to know. (Including what Joan really looks like underneath all that makeup.)

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the benefits of spending time together, particularly when it comes to children and their grandparents. How often do you see your grandparents? Are they an important part of your life?

  • How real does the show feel to you? Are there any moments that seem scripted as opposed to genuine? How can you tell?

  • How might this show serve to promote Joan's various brands, including her clothing, jewelry and make-up lines, and her celebrity in general? Do you think it was created to entertain viewers or promote her persona?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family TV

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