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Living with Fran
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the lead character is a middle-aged divorcee who's living with a much younger man and enjoying an active sex life. Most episodes contain jokes that adults might find funny, but which might confuse younger viewers or go over their heads entirely. For example, in one episode, Fran tells her son that she's skipping her bikini wax because her hysterectomy scar hasn't yet healed and comments favorably when her pregnant cousin says that she's already had her doctor-OK'd daily glass of wine with breakfast.
What's the story?
In LIVING WITH FRAN, nasal-voiced actress Fran Drescher stars as a middle-aged divorcee juggling her relationship with a much younger man with the demands of raising her two almost-grown-up kids. Drescher plays Fran Reeves, who -- after splitting up with husband Ted (Charles Shaughnessy, her co-star on The Nanny) -- finds love with the much-younger Riley (Ryan McPartlin). Riley shacks up with Fran and her two kids, 21-year-old Josh (Ben Feldman), who moved home after dropping out of medical school, and 16-year-old Allison (Misti Traya), who tests Fran's patience with her entrée into the dating world. Debi Mazar rounds out the cast as Merrill, Fran's cousin who always drops by unexpectedly -- and who ends up dating Riley's best friend.
Is it any good?
Living with Fran relies on typical "wacky" sitcom storylines to garner laughs, but overall the show is neither particularly great nor particularly terrible. Some episodes deal with adult subject matter -- including premarital sex and searching for love while raising kids -- which leads to some bawdy dialogue. But if viewers can handle that, they'll find Living with Fran a mindless half-hour of entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about divorce. Why do some marriages end in divorce? How are kids affected by their parents' breakup? Why is it important for kids to understand that they aren't the reason for the end of their parents' marriage? How does it affect kids when their parents enter new relationships, particularly serious ones? How are the effects different for younger and older kids?