A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Outmatched is a sitcom about two working-class parents struggling to raise three highly intelligent kids (as well as one "average" child). This show features lots of stereotypes about intellectually gifted people, which range from geeky to almost dangerous. Adults often resort to lying to handle their kids, and are shown drinking and vaping pot to cope with the challenges they face. There’s some mild arguing, words like "damn" and "hell" are frequently used, and subtle references are made to sexual misconduct that will go over the heads of younger viewers. Overall, Outmatched has a promising premise and fetches a few laughs, but parents should be wary of the iffy messages.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
OUTMATCHED is a comedy series about parents who can barely keep up with their exceptional children. Mike (Jason Biggs) and Kay (Maggie Lawson) are a blue collar couple raising their family in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Their daily lives are far from normal thanks to their three certified genius children -- 16-year old Brian (Connor Kalopsis), 15-year old Nicole (Ashley Boettcher), and 10-year old Marc (Jack Stanton). In addition to paying for private schools, putting up with their endless projects and experiments, and coping with their individual idiosyncrasies, Mike and Kay worry about being able to support them in positive and productive ways. Luckily, they have their resoundingly average 8-year old daughter Leila (Oakley Bull) to keep them levelheaded.
Is it any good?
The stale family situation comedy features the antics of parents raising teenagers who are much more intellectually advanced than they are. But the lack of smart writing leads to some lifeless one-liners and flat punchlines, which are emphasized by the laugh track. The characters who are not considered geniuses appear extremely simpleminded, while the gifted children’s Sheldon Cooper-like arrogance is more off-putting than amusing thanks to their sense of entitlement. Meanwhile, contemporary activities (like Mike’s pot vaping) fail to keep the show from feeling dated thanks to the use of Revenge Of The Nerds-inspired personages and other tired stereotypes. Ultimately, Outmatched fails to consistently deliver on laughs, and those looking for some chuckle-worthy TV entertainment would be wise to skip it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Mike and Kay sometimes drink or smoke pot privately to make them feel more relaxed while discussing their concerns about the kids. Is this a healthy way to face their challenges? What are some other ways they could manage their stress?
What role does the "average" child play? How does she differ from her siblings, other than being depicted intellectually inferior?
Can you identify any stereotypes in Outmatched? Is it ever appropriate to use stereotypes as a way of getting people to laugh?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love family sitcoms
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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