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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show celebrates the bonds that exist among family members of all types. Traditional gender roles are reversed, with a woman as the primary breadwinner and a man overseeing the kids’ needs and caring for the home.
Positive Role Models
Mel takes her responsibilities to her niece and nephew seriously and strives for a healthy relationship with them. Joe’s methods are unorthodox, but he always manages to drive home important lessons about being responsible, appreciating others, and valuing education.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults discuss details of their relationships, sometimes alluding to sex. Some passionate kisses. Mention of strippers and a woman looking like a “hottie.”
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Multiple uses of “ass” and “hell,” as well as words like “suck,” “screw it,” and “pissed.” Also some references to body parts (“vagina”) and name-calling, like “buttface.”
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mel frequently makes references to her wild teen years, which included plenty of underage drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though it stars former child actors Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, this sitcom isn't meant for tweens. The characters' dialogue often refers to issues like underage drinking, sex, and marital unrest. Language -- including multiple variations of "hell" and "ass," as well as frequent use of words like "suck" and "screw" -- is also on the strong side. That said, the show does center on a strong female character who's dedicated to balancing her work and personal lives and ensuring the well-being of her niece and nephew, and it aims to convey messages related to responsibility, appreciating others, and the importance of family ties.
Is It Any Good?
First the good news: Hart and Lawrence could easily build careers playing opposite each other, with the chemistry they established in the TV movie My Fake Fiance carrying over to this new endeavor. Even in Mel and Joe's dislike of each other onscreen, it's easy to like the combination they create, and the show benefits from their presence. Unfortunately, the show as a whole doesn't quite measure up to the standards of its stars. Like the frazzled Mel, viewers are always one step behind the action, trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the show's frantic pace.
Still, there are some sweet moments as the show's unlikely family makes small progress in bonding, and the gender-role shake-up -- with Mel furthering her career and Joe holding down the fort at home -- livens things up. But overall, the show doesn't live up to its stars, and the use of strong language (mostly "ass" and "hell," but there's a surprising amount of it) and references to underage drinking and sex ensure that it's not for tweens.
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.