A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series raises questions about what life would be like if we made different choices. It also highlights how life can be unpredictable, and full of highs and lows. Themes include marriage, divorce, parenthood, pregnancy, and other mature topics.
Positive Role Models
Joe’s decisions lead to different career paths and different life trajectories, but ultimately he is a good man who cares about the people around him.
There is one Black cast member, and two Latinx cast members, all of whom play central roles in each story. A child with a disability is a main character in the show. Class differences among the people in Joe’s lives shift according to what career he has.
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Violence & Scariness
There are references to the death of a parent on September 11th. A shooting is shown. People are shown hurt or ill in a hospital, but there’s not a lot of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some romance and sexuality. Pregnancy is addressed.
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Words like "hell" and "damn" are audible.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking is visible among adults.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ordinary Joe is a drama about a regular guy that explores the idea of how different decisions can lead to very different futures. It features lots of mature topics, including marriage, parenthood, pregnancy, divorce, and illness. There's some discussion of sex, and occasional violent moments (usually related to police or hospital activity) with some limited blood visible. Strong language includes "hell" and "damn." Some social drinking.
Is It Any Good?
This well-intentioned but convoluted series shows three versions of a man's life ten years after he makes the decision that will determine its course. Joe Kimbreau's (James Wolk) life unfolds as three parallel universes, in which he is either a nurse raising a disabled son (played by John Gluck), a single NYPD police officer, or the rock star he wanted to be. Each of these narratives offer their own set of weighty, prime-time drama worthy situations, leading to moments when Kimbreau thinks about what his life could have been had he made a different choice a decade prior. But there's a lot that's going on in each episode, and the seamless shifting between his three possible lives is confusing. Meanwhile, thanks to the lackluster writing, Ordinary Joe feels surprisingly predictable from the onset, and leaves you questioning how far the show's overall story world can really go without it becoming silly or boring. It's not an ordinary drama, but doesn't seem to hit its mark.
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.
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