Playing House

Common Sense Media says

Two besties and a baby comedy is saucy but sweet.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The value of loyal friendships is perhaps the one most strongly championed on this sweet-natured, if often naughty show.

Positive role models

The characters generally care about each other and treat each other with dignity and respect, even while they often mock one another. Some catty joking about other women. Both of the female friends at the center of the show intend to do right by the new baby one of them is about to have.

Violence

Occasional cartoonish violence, such as a character banging her head while trying to catch a household pest.

Sex

Jokes about sex and body parts include references to anal penetration, oral sex, body parts, sex with anonymous strangers over the internet. There are references to "screwing" and the "juicy ass" of a woman in gold hot pants.

Language

The occasional unbleeped four-letter word, usually used casually rather than insultingly, like a reference to the "s--t hitting the fan."

Consumerism

References to real products including Cliff's Notes and Apple TV.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters may drink onscreen. There is a line where a grandmother-to-be admonished party guests to "hide the booze," and one woman says to a pregnant woman that she needs a drink; the pregnant woman abstains from drinking and says she's going to have a glass of milk instead.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Playing House is a comedy about two best friends who band together to raise the baby one of them is pregnant with. The vibe here is mostly sweet and charming, and the show includes a very realistic and positive portrait of an adult female friendship. The main thing that may give parents pause are the frequent rude and often sexual jokes, which revolve around body parts, pornography, bodily functions, and sex in general. There are discussions about the particulars of a pregnant woman's private parts, a bridal-shower scene with diapers smeared with melted candy bars, a discussion of foreign food causing diarrhea, and other very bawdy scenarios. Viewers will hear some cursing as well, including unbleeped four-letter words, and words that refer to body parts. There are references to drinking, but a pregnant woman opts to drink milk instead of alcohol.

What's the story?

When Maggie Caruso (Lennon Parham) catches her husband cheating and Emma Crawford (Jessica St. Clair) moves in to help her get through her pregnancy, the two are PLAYING HOUSE. How hard could it be to raise a baby, right? But before these clueless two find out, they have a few hurdles to get through first. Emma has just dumped her prestigious job in China and has no idea how she's going to make ends meet. Plus she just knows she's going to go stir-crazy in her tiny old home town, where she keeps running into people she used to know and never wanted to see again, like local cop Mark (Keegan-Michael Key) and his "bird-boned" perfect wife Tina (Lindsay Sloane). But with only so much time before Maggie and Emma are co-moms of a sort, the two of them are going to have to find a way to work it all out.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Viewers may (or may not -- it didn't last longl) remember St. Clair and Parham from heir short-lived NBC sitcom Best Friends Forever. If so, you may recall that the two have positively potent comic chemistry, perhaps because they're real-life best friends who created both that show and this one together. So it's no surprise that Playing House has a refreshing ladies'-first feeling that brings a kind of sweetness to jokes that liken Maggie's pregnant boobs to a waterbed.

In addition to the adorable interplay between the show's two leading ladies, the plot points are absurdly funny without being sitcom cliche antic, such as an attempt to de-raccoon a child's playhouse, or a local mystery involving disappearing garden gnomes. Yes, there are some pretty rude jokes, but the whole feeling of the show is fizzy, funny and cute, sorta like a slightly-cleaned-up network TV version of Bridesmaids. It's worth a watch for parents, and maybe even a space on your DVR schedule.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the setting of Playing House, which is a common one: A character returns to their small hometown and decides to stay. What other shows or movies can you think of with this basic plot device? Why is it so popular? What comic or dramatic potential does it hold?

  • Is the audience supposed to like Maggie and Emma? How can you tell? How are they presented and how is that different from the way "bad" characters are seen and heard?

  • Are the characters on Playing House wealthy? College educated? Successful in their careers? How can you tell?

TV details

Cast:Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parham, Keegan-Michael Key
Network:USA
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
TV rating:NR

This review of Playing House was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide