Modern Dads

 
(i)

 

Slick reality about capable stay-at-home fathers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series shows that men can be the primary childcare providers in a family, and be perfectly comfortable and successful in this role.

Positive role models

These likable, capable dads enjoy having fun, but they, like their wives/partners, are committed to their children. Several of the wives are CEOs, directors, or hold other high-ranking positions in their field.

Violence

Despite occasional conversations about their children's accidents or randomly pulling out knives from the dishwasher, there's nothing violent here.

Sex

Conversations about having sex that will likely go over the head of younger viewers. One episode discusses vasectomies in detail. Stone likes to date…a lot.

Language

Words like "damn" and "bitch" are audible; words like "Goddamn" and "s--t" are bleeped. Lots of bathroom humor; only some that's associated with diaper changing.

Consumerism

Occasional quick references are made to products and/or services, like Groupon.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Quick references are made to kegs and "magic brownies," but the strongest beverage served here is apple juice.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Modern Dads is a reality series featuring stay-at-home fathers that's not really geared toward a kid audience. Expect some occasional iffy language and some light sexual innuendo that will go over younger kids' heads. There's lots of bathroom humor, too. Despite all of this, the series sends strong, positive messages about the capabilities of both men and women when it comes to having a family and making a living.

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What's the story?

MODERN DADS is a reality series that features the antics of four stay-at-home dads in Austin, Texas. It stars Rick Lucas, the father of four children, including 1-year-old twins Elizabeth and Katherine; Stone Slade, the single father of 5-year-old Danica, and Nathan Hall, a first time dad and proud father of his 1-year-old son, Cormac. Also joining the group is Sean Kent, who considers himself a stepdad to his long-term girlfriend's daughters, 6-year-old Joopsy and 9-year-old Arwen. When their wives and partners leave to work outside of the home, these men handle all the day-to-day responsibilities associated with raising their children. From religiously making sure their babies don't wake up early from their naps, to organizing a medieval birthday party for toddlers, they do what they have to do to make sure that their kids are safe, happy, and healthy.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Modern Dads highlights the changing role of men in American families, which is evolving from traditionally patriarchal norms that characterize men as the family's primary breadwinners (and women as the children's caregivers) to a more flexible arrangement, that can include being full-time caregivers. The series demonstrates how these men are not only comfortable with these new roles, but are deeply satisfied being their children's caregivers.  

There are lots of humorous moments, but unlike many TV and film depictions of stay-at-home dads, these men are not comically naive or deficient. Their jokes don't come at the expense of their children, either. Not only are these men serious about their jobs as fathers, but they are very good at what they do.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way fathers are portrayed in the media. What are some common most common ways dads are represented on TV and in the movies? What are these interpretations based on? Are they accurate?

  • How does this show challenge stereotypical ideas about the roles of men and women? Are there any other shows or movies that also challenge these generalizations?

TV details

Network:A&E
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Modern Dads was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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