Living With Ed

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Living With Ed TV Poster Image
Being green not always easy for eco-minded actor.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The Begleys (particularly Ed) are committed to "living green." Shows viewers many simple ways to help save the environment.

Violence & Scariness

Some mild bickering and arguing between Ed and Rachelle.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this program profiles a married couple (one of whom is actor Ed Begley Jr.) who sometimes clash over how to run their "green" home. Rachelle isn't as dedicated an environmentalist as her husband, and they often spar (usually fairly playfully). To adults, this isn't unusual, but some sensitive young viewers might find even their mild arguing and irritation upsetting. On the plus side, the show offers a strong example of how to live a more environmentally friendly life.

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What's the story?

In LIVING WITH ED, actor Ed Begley Jr., and his wife, Rachelle, allow cameras into their home to show viewers how they live as energy-efficiently as possible. Begley Jr., a veteran character actor who's been in everything from St. Elsewhere to Best in Show, bought his Studio City home in 1988 and quickly began outfitting it with environmentally friendly features -- including solar panels, a white picket fence made out of recycled milk jugs, and drought-tolerant landscaping. After meeting Ed at a party in the mid-'80s, Rachelle later married him -- and his environmental eccentricities. Now she must deal with a husband who cycles on the porch to create enough energy for the morning's toast, likes to hang out on the roof with his solar panels, and times her showers so she doesn't waste water.

Is it any good?

Though the premise of this show is based on Rachelle's frequent exasperation with Ed's passion for sustainable living, it's obvious that they're devoted to each other and respect each other's differences. Begley Jr.'s fans will enjoy getting a glimpse into what makes him tick, while those with little knowledge of how a home can be made "greener" will come away enlightened.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about environmentalism. What issues (such as global warming) does environmentalism deal with? What makes someone an environmentalist? Why is it important to take care of the planet? What is "sustainability"? What are some simple ways to help take better care of the planet -- both in the big picture and every day? What should you do if family members disagree about how to pitch in?

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