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Mr. Mom

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Mr. Mom TV Poster Image
Movie-inspired sitcom has strong marriage, family roles.

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

Positive Messages

Viewers see Megan and Greg work through challenges by communicating, compromising, extending forgiveness to each other. They rely on humor to offset life's disappointments. Recurring characters are gay. Megan and Greg's situation challenges stereotypical gender roles within the family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Megan and Greg always put needs of their family before anything else. Both step up to new responsibilities when their circumstances change, and each learns to respect the other's priorities even when they are different from their own.

Violence
Sex

Married partners kiss, show physical closeness. Veiled allusions to pornography and adult websites, as when Greg assures a woman that he doesn't "visit those sites anymore." Suggestions of physical attraction outside of marriage.

Language

Bathroom humor related to young kids and the potty training stage is common, as when Greg discovers his son had a poop blowout all over his shirt in a restaurant and when he teaches him how to pee outside. Mention of farting and other bodily functions.

Consumerism

Series is inspired by 1983 film Mr. Mom. Occasionally brand names and logos are shown, such as an Apple computer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink beer and cocktails in social settings. In one scene, Greg nearly gets roped in to what's suggested is the illegal drug trade.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mr. Mom is a sitcom inspired by the same-named 1983 film and follows a married couple who trade primary roles in their household to mixed -- and often comical -- results. Positive themes emerge about effective relationships, communication, and compromise as Megan (Andrea Anders) and Greg (Hayes MacArthur) show they're willing to adapt to each other's needs within the context of a major life change. And the nature of their family structure challenges traditional gender roles within marriage. The show makes light of challenges familiar to family life, including parenting woes and the struggle to balance work, family, and romance. There's limited adult drinking, veiled hints at matters like pornography and drugs, and other mature content that will likely make this series most appealing for adults who can relate to the characters and their situation.

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What's the story?

In MR. MOM, when a dream job lands in the lap of stay-at-home mom Megan (Andrea Anders) just as her husband, Greg (Hayes MacArthur), considers a life change, the couple decide to swap breadwinning and childcare responsibilities. Hopeful that his less structured schedule will allow him to launch a business from home, Greg discovers there's a lot that's unexpected about being a full-time parent to two young kids, and that starting his own company isn't without its foibles as well. Meanwhile, Megan is eager to be back in the workforce but feels the strain of being the newcomer in an office of millennials with newfangled methods. As they settle into their new normal, Megan and Greg must work hard to balance their new roles with the needs of their marriage and their family.

Is it any good?

This altogether pleasant series presents parallel fish-out-of-water stories in Greg's and Megan's individual struggles to redefine themselves and find contentment after a major life change. Many of the scenarios will ring true for adults in the audience -- from office politics to sneaking "adult" time away from the kids in unusual and often unspectacular ways -- and the show's willingness to confront them with both humor and authenticity makes for an appealing watch. Mr. Mom doesn't break a lot of new ground with its family-centered comic content, but what it does offer is strong storytelling and a heartfelt glimpse of the beautiful, imperfect experience that is life.

Cast in its modern setting, what isn't notable about Mr. Mom is precisely what made a mark in the original film -- namely, the novelty of the stay-at-home dad role. While the idea of the woman going to work and the man tending to the kids was a bit of an anomaly in the '80s, it's much more mainstream now, and so the premise that was so comical on its face in the movie loses some of that surprise value in the context of today's gender relations. Rather than being a detriment to the story, though, this reframing adds to the show's celebration of its own kind of "normal" home structure and the resilient nature of marriage and family life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Mr. Mom presents family life and how realistic (or not) it is. How does the show's 12-minute format deal with complicated issues? How does Megan and Greg's family life compare to your own or to that of others you know?

  • What examples of compromise and unselfishness do you see in the story? Why are these qualities important in a supportive relationship? What other character strengths, like communication and respect, stand out?

  • How has the definition of a "normal" family structure changed over time? What unique challenges exist for "nontraditional" families like Greg and Megan's? In what ways is society adapting to embrace them?

TV details

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