Liv and Maddie TV Poster Image

Liv and Maddie

Jovial family sitcom is simplistic but still entertains.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show aims to entertain rather than to educate, but every story has some feel-good messages about family relationships.

Positive messages

The series deals lightly with realistically tricky issues like sibling relationships and self-image among teens. Happily each twin seems comfortable with the person she is, despite the differences between them and the fact that Liv is a TV starlet. Family is sometimes a source of frustration, but most often it's shown to be a place of comfort and unconditional love.

Positive role models

Pete and Karen have different parenting styles, but they blend them in a quirky way that works for their family. The kids aren't perfect, and their mishaps don't always cause the fallout they might in the real world, but they do learn some lessons about treating others fairly and acting responsibly.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Parents kiss, and there's some flirting between teens, but it's all very innocent.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Liv and Maddie is a family friendly series that puts a comical spin on issues like sibling rivalry and life in a busy family. At center are twin sisters with opposing personalities, and their relationship is marked by moments of tension followed by displays of kind affection. Ultimately the message kids get from this content is that individuality shouldn't spell disaster for relationships among family or friends. As is true of most tween-targeted comedies, the show glosses over a lot, especially when it comes to teen issues, but that's what makes it a worry-free pick for kids.

What's the story?

Identical twins Liv and Maddie Rooney (both played by Dove Cameron) have been best friends their whole lives, but their relationship gets a little more complicated when TV star Liv moves back home to Wisconsin after four years in Hollywood filming a hit series. Polar opposite personalities are just the start of the differences between these two, and it doesn't help that social diva Liv can't resist stepping in to “help” her brainy, athletic sister any way she sees fit. Meanwhile, the twins' younger brothers, Joey (Joey Bragg) and Parker (Tenzig Norgay Trainor), enjoy the fact that the girls' drama keeps the spotlight off their antics; and the Rooney parents, Karen (Kali Rocha) and Pete (Benjamin King) attempt to keep tabs on the whole crew at home and at the twins' high school, where they both work.

Is it any good?


You can't expect a lot of depth from a tween sitcom set up for escapades of the identical twin nature and garden-variety teen girl drama. Factor in a couple of mischievous younger brothers who steal scenes with their comical scheming, and the constant story interruption of confessional-style asides with characters, and there's little time for really meaningful content.

That's not to say that your kids won't enjoy a visit to the Rooney home, and what they'll see and hear there won't strike a nerve with you since it's classically purified Disney fare. This is a place where mostly trivial problems play second fiddle to the funny stuff that's always going on, and solutions are easy to come by, but the characters do acknowledge the issues that arise and solve them. Sure, it oversimplifies a lot, but it also doesn't raise any issues that aren't age-appropriate for your kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this show's portrayal of the average family. Are the Rooneys a realistic representation of a modern family? How do their problems compare to yours? What does this show say about relationships between siblings? Between parents and kids?

  • Kids: What qualities about yourself set you apart from your friends or siblings? Why is it good to be unique? When is it not fun to stand out in a crowd?

  • Parents can talk to their kids about getting along with others, particularly within a family. How do you communicate your needs at home? How does it feel when someone hurts your feelings? What ways do you have for making up after a tiff?

TV details

Premiere date:July 19, 2013
Cast:Dove Cameron, Joey Bragg, Kali Rocha
Network:Disney Channel
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Great girl role models, High school
TV rating:TV-G

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Parent Written bysaltylady October 29, 2013

more stereotypes and ditzy girl stuff

Why am I not surprised that Disney (or is it Nick? who knows) made yet another show that glorifies ditzy teen girl behavior and teaches kids that being anything other than pretty and popular is bad news. The show is about twin girls, one is an actress, wears makeup and girly clothes, and the other is a more normal teen girl who actually cares about school, wears glasses, plays basketball. Your daughter is supposed to like the second one, but you know she's going to think the actress is the cool one. The normal twin has a best friend who is less attractive and slightly heavy. A heavy set minority best friend is part of all these shows. Every third joke is about how this best friend isn't properly feminine, and how she has a crush on the twins' brother, who of course will never like her because she's not cute. What a disgusting message for little girls. The only good thing I can say is at least they have parents and don't live in some teen band boarding school.
Adult Written byTinyToya August 12, 2013

A Beacon of Hope for Disney Channel?

I've now see a few episodes and am still pleased. Liv and Maddie are twin sisters with one being a pop star and the other being a brainy normal girl. (This part of the show is unrealistic to me. Yes, there are celebrities who have brothers and sisters that are unknown to the public. However, these girls are supposed to be twins and they are going to school together. In this day and age that would cause a frenzy). More to the point, Dove Cameron plays both characters and I find her roles to be quite well done. She embodies Liv and Maddie distinctly and without flaw. One might actually believe there were two actresses playing the roles. This brings to mind a question: Why didn't Disney just hire twins? Like they did with Dylan and Cole Sprouse? Yes, Dove Cameron is a great actress but the show is not exactly the same when the two characters never interact directly. The camera angle has to change and there is digital work involved. But some people may enjoy that and like Dove even more. The show itself is pretty funny. I wish the parents weren't so zany but one can live with it. Importantly, I think this show might prove to be a saving grace to the current state of Disney channel.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old August 24, 2013

great show

this is a great and funny show that i think is ok for kids to watch it