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 this sitcom targets younger adults who are looking for a romantic relationship -- or may already be in one. That said, the content is tame enough for older teens. There's some light sexual innuendo and kissing, in addition to scant use of words like "hell" and infrequent social drinking and comedic violence.
What's the story?
Soon after meeting pretty professional Kate Swanson (Sarah Chalke) on the rooftop of the city's tallest building, smitten lawyer Ben Parr (Jason Biggs) is convinced he's in MAD LOVE and has met the woman of his dreams. Too bad Ben's best friend, Larry (Tyler Labine), and Kate's closest pal, Connie (Judy Greer), react to each other like oil and water. As the weeks go on, Ben and Kate get even closer, forcing Larry and Connie into reluctant togetherness.
Is it any good?
Mad Love has all the elements of romantic comedies that have worked in the past. It's got likable leads and oddball sidekicks, who seem destined to prove that opposites attract ... not to mention a few storytelling elements that feel blatantly borrowed from How I Met Your Mother. But maybe that's part of the reason that Mad Love feels so awfully predictable. There's no freshness, no spark to make it special.
The other missing element, of course, is palpable chemistry between Biggs and Chalke, which is a bit of problem when you're building an entire show around their budding relationship. Labine and Greer play fine as second fiddles, but their comic chops seem largely wasted on weak lines that need a laugh track to be remotely funny -- the only thing here worth getting Mad about.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the portrayal of love and relationships on television. Do TV shows -- especially sitcoms -- tend to make falling in love look easy? How does that compare to finding a romantic partner in real life?
What are the benefits of being in a relationship? What are the benefits of being single? Is one better than the other?
How does this romcom compare to other shows like it? What traits do they have in common? Does it try to do anything differently?