Kirstie TV Poster Image




Sitcom vet offers wisecracks about sex, drugs, weight.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Underneath all the wisecracks, the characters on Kirstie champion values like family love and treating others with respect and kindness, but these values can be hard to detect given the level of sitcom-ish absurdity.

Positive role models

Alley's character drinks, uses drugs, and is a shallow, vain social climber. Others around her are more stable and positive, but her foibles are played for laughs.


Cartoonish violence is sometimes played for laughs: A man says he's Alley's long-lost son and she sprays him in the eyes with perfume.


Alley's character is single and interested; expect dating, flirting, and references to intimacy, including casual sex.


Periodic cursing ("Where the hell are you?"), and rough language related to sex or drugs.


Real-life celebrities are mentioned on the show: Oprah, Angelina Jolie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Many characters smoke and drink onscreen; Alley's Banks asks for drinks to relax and to get ready for work. There are references to other drugs, too, such as marijuana.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kirstie is a sitcom starring Kirstie Alley and aimed at middle-aged viewers. Traditional sitcom-style mockery means that many sensitive subjects are played for laughs: parental obligations, casual sex, drugs. Main character Maddie Banks drinks and smokes onscreen and apparently uses drugs offscreen, which are referred to blithely. There is some mild cursing ("damn," "crap"), and some language about sex and body parts. Banks also struggles with eating and her weight; there are many jokes poking fun at her body and what she eats. Teens may find it tough to relate to the show, and parents may not want them to hear the jokes about sex and drugs.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Decades ago, KIRSTIE's Maddie Banks (Kirstie Alley) made a choice: She gave up her son to pursue a career on Broadway. Now she's successful and famous, but she lives an empty life surrounded by people she pays to care for her, including louche driver Frank (Michael Richards) and harried but maternal personal assistant Thelma (Rhea Perlman). That is, until son Arlo knocks on her door. He wasn't the kind of guy that Banks expected her son to be -- he works at a doughnut shop and spends his time at Civil War reenactments. But despite Arlo's limitations (and her own), Banks thinks she might be able to make a go of this mother thing.

Is it any good?


Aimed at the older female demographic who love Alley both for her work on classic comedies like Cheers as well as her outsized personality and tabloid omnipresence, Kirstie leans heavily on the charms of its star. Luckily, the ebullient Alley is up to the task, dispensing self-deprecating wisecracks about her appetites, sexual and otherwise, with seasoned skill. She's fine with being the butt of jokes about corned beef sandwiches and bags of weed that need to be secreted at the airport, and both Perlman and Richards deliver the punchlines nicely.

The goings-on are sitcom-y and hardly fresh: Doors are slammed in faces, spit-takes are dealt out, doughnut fights occur. But the great cast pulls it off, and even cynical watchers may find themselves chuckling mildly. The same viewers who enjoy TV Land's other comedies, particularly Hot in Cleveland, will find this equally appealing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what kind of character Kirstie Alley plays. Is the audience supposed to like her? Find her funny or depressing? Are we supposed to relate to her? Admire her? Look down on her?

  • Kirstie is an original show on TV Land, a network known for shows like Hot in Cleveland and Retired at 35. What kind of demographic do you think TV Land is going for? How does Kirstie fit into this landscape?

  • Do you know anything about Kirstie Alley's private life or history in pop culture? Do you think Kirstie toys with the actress' public image?

TV details

Premiere date:December 4, 2013
Cast:Kirstie Alley, Michael Richards, Rhea Perlman
Network:TV Land
TV rating:TV-PG

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byMike DeV December 5, 2013

Mike's Kristi review.

Great show! Kristi is doing her own thing with her friends and they all are very entertaining. She is not trying to be a nun; she is trying to be a real person with real joys and problems. She is imagnitive and she is not going to worry that things are perfect because that is boring, and she is never boring. Perfection is something that exists only in a classroom. She is not tedious and the new show keeps you interested with original approaches to reality. In the event someone was critical of the show and thinks it is a bad influence I say get a life, don't be a prude when you could be having fun. The supporting cast is great. Michael Richards is an excellent choice because he always did his own thing and Kristi is that way too. R Pearlman adds a friend who plays her part excellently, and the two are like singers singing in perect harmony. Kristi, thank you for the great entertainment.
What other families should know
Great messages