Parents' Guide to

Life Sentence

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sweet but shallow dramedy about life after cancer.

TV CW Drama 2018
Life Sentence Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 16+

wished for a season 2

A lot of shows are about doctors and people who are dying of cancer not the survivors. So I found this show quite interesting to see them explore the idea of someone who learned to live after preparing to die and a family learning who to restart there lives again. The story line was very cute and the characters were entertaining. Plus what PLL fan doesn't wanna see another show Lucy Hale starred?

This title has:

Great messages
age 10+


Kids need to learn the real world early on! I feel like we should never hide it from our kids. I think that cancer is a big deal that kids should know about. Also I feel like it has a amazing message.... but I won’t tell you guys to spoil it! But I am not the parent for your kids... you should decide what age you lt them see the real world.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (7):

The concept itself isn't a bad one (How would you live if you thought the next few months were your last -- and what would you do once you found out that was a mistake?), but the show plays it far too safe, and strays too deeply into the saccharine tones and lightweight emotional stakes of the "sappy cancer dramas" it claims to be mocking. In the right hands, Life Sentence could have been pushed into a darkly humorous or straight-up dramatic, emotionally resonant direction, but the show is overly concerned with having its star be at all times scrappy, optimistic, and likable. She comes across more like an old-school Disney heroine than a real person, even in flashbacks of her "sick" years, in which she lays in her hospital bed with lustrously thick eyelashes and brows, a downright glamorous headscarf the only indication that this is supposed to be someone with a terminal illness. Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) and Gillian Vigman (New Girl) star as her embittered parents, who are apparently struggling financially yet still find the means to host impromptu dinners for 30, outfit their home like a Pottery Barn catalog, and pay the rent on their daughter's hip, artsy loft apartment. If viewed as fluffy escapism, the show is a pleasant enough way to spend an hour, but it could have been so much more.

TV Details

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