Parents' Guide to

Malcolm in the Middle

By Betsy Wallace, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Quirky, off-the-wall family humor; OK for teens.

TV Fox, Syndicated Comedy 2000
Malcolm in the Middle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 30 parent reviews

age 8+

This show is hilarious.

Malcolm in the Middle is one of my family's all time favorite shows. I noticed in the reviews that a lot of people are saying that the show has too much sex, language, and violence, and that that is what makes it inappropriate. In my opinion, those reviewers are being unreasonable and overly critical. There is hardly any language, little violence especially compared to other movies and shows today, and as for sex, there are some references but nothing over the top. Honestly, many kids would not even notice these references. I also saw a few reviews about nudity. There is absolutely no nudity whatsoever in the show; nothing bad is shown. There are scenes where people are naked, but it's always from the shoulders up. I think that one of the best things about the show is that it provides a very realistic view of life in a funny and clever way. Every episode is absolutely hilarious and original, and can be funny to people of any age, from elementary school kids to grandparents. It has a wonderful portrayal of family as well. It shows the importance of family and unconditional love among family members. These messages are important to children and the show demonstrates them in a memorable way.

This title has:

Great messages
2 people found this helpful.
age 10+


super funny show! 10+

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (30):
Kids say (99):

For some viewers, this show's subject matter may provide a welcome alternative to the predictable plots and simplistic conclusions served up by many traditional family sitcoms. Some episodes are clever and endearing -- showing how kids deal with the perceived injustices of growing up -- while others highlight how the family pulls together in hilarious ways. The show often brings to light how, at times, parents' rules are no match for children's curiosity.

Malcolm in the Middle may be one of the loudest shows on TV, one reason parents may have difficulty determining whether their kids should watch or not. Since situations concerning Malcolm's parents can involve adult humor, the show is perhaps best viewed by parents and mature teens.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate