Monster In-Laws

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Monster In-Laws TV Poster Image
Family interventions include lots of intense drama.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series highlights the importance of respect, communication, and boundaries when dealing with parents and in-laws, though it takes a voyeuristic approach, showing people during vulnerable moments.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Therapists are trying to help families heal. In-laws often resist efforts by their adult children and/or therapist's efforts to set boundaries. Adults sometimes use their children as pawns when trying to deal with their parents and/or in-laws. The therapists' tactics are designed to help, but are sometimes extreme.

Violence

Disagreements often turn into screaming matches and threats of violence. Sometimes show's producers jump in to diffuse the situation.

Sex

While there's no sexual content, occasional mild references are made (like comparing having grandchildren to good sex).

Language

Words like "damn" and "piss" are audible. Profanity ("s--t," "f--k") is fully bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol is sometimes visible at restaurants.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series, which shows conflicting family members attempting to learn how to get along, isn't really for kids. Volatile arguments sometimes break out between feuding family members, which are full of bleeped expletives. It also contains the occasional sexual reference, and sometimes alcohol is visible. Family therapy sessions include exercises (like having an adult daughter duct tape her father's mouth to keep him from speaking) that some may find extreme, but the importance of good communication, respect, and boundaries are stressed throughout.

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What's the story?

MONSTER IN-LAWS explores the conflicts between married couples and their in-laws, and the ways that they can be resolved. Relationship expert Mel Robbins or psychologist Dr.Tom Kersting go to the homes of troubled families so that they can identify the existing issues that are tearing them apart. While each therapist has a different approach to the way they work with their clients, they are both committed to finding ways to help them communicate better. The featured families also work on developing new ways of relating to each other, in hopes that that they can rebuild the existing negative relationships into positive ones.

Is it any good?

The series takes a brief, voyeuristic look at how families who care about each other struggle to get along thanks to a lack of communication. It also highlights the importance of respecting each other and establishing boundaries, especially when it comes to dealing with parenting and children.

These are positive messages, but each episode is so short that they fail to offer any details about the ways in which people can improve their existing relationships with their in-laws. As a result, much of the focus is on the bickering that takes place between them. But some folks may still find it interesting, or even a little helpful, to watch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about family relationships. Why is it that relationships with the people we love the most can become so strained? Why do you think the families featured here agreed to discuss these problems on a reality show? Do you think doing so helps or hurts their chances of improving things between them?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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