Retired at 35

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Retired at 35 TV Poster Image
Cheeky sitcom offers jokes about sex and age.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

It's not the best place to mine positive messages, but the show subtly promotes the value of finding yourself and really getting to know your parents.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Positive role-modeling isn't really the point. Characters tend to make brash decisions without thinking them through, and Alan and Elaine's redefined relationship is kind of complicated.


Implied sex, with sexually charged terms like "hit it," "banging," "get laid," "balls," and "whore."


Audibles include "damn," "crap," "whore," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters sometimes drink to get drunk, but it's played for laughs. Alan regularly smokes cigars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that most of the jokes in this multigenerational comedy are about age and sex, which means you'll see some implied sex (though no nudity) and hear sexually charged terms like "hit it and quit it," "get laid," and "porn." Characters occasionally drink alcohol, too, and a central character regularly smokes cigars.

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What's the story?

Fed up with the round-the-clock demands of his big-city job, 35-year-old David Robbins (Johnathan McClain) impulsively ducks out of the corporate rat race and moves in with his mother and father, Elaine (Jessica Walter) and Alan (George Segal). But life at his parents' Florida retirement community is a lot more complicated than he thought it would be, especially when Elaine abandons them both to paint in Portugal, leaving David to deal with his newly single dad and his own awkward run-ins with his high school crush (Ryan Michelle Bathe).

Is it any good?

Packaged as a companion to TV Land's well-received Hot in Cleveland, RETIRED AT 35 shares a lot of the same qualities that make Cleveland work, including a live audience; a "throwback" feel; and a seasoned cast with proven comedic gifts whose median age skews a bit higher than the popular faces on other networks. Newcomer McClain is fine as a soul-searching 30-something, but it's Segal and Walter who really steal the show with priceless looks and zingy one-liners (She: "If you'd stop with the cigars, maybe you'd get some action." He: "Action implies enthusiasm and movement.").

Retired continues Cleveland's trend of bringing some great guest stars back to TV, including Shelley Long, who plays one of Alan's prospective dates, and Christine Ebersole, a respected Broadway actress who may or may not stick around as a long-term love interest. (And that's to say nothing of the joy Arrested Development fans will feel seeing Walter back in the mother-hen saddle.) Either way, it's like seeing old friends.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reality of a 35-year-old quitting his high-paying job and moving in with his parents. What are the benefits of "unplugging" from the real world and living in a place where there's no Internet connection? How does David's lifestyle change when he's no longer tied to text messages and constant phone calls?

  • How does this show compare with a comedy like $#*! My Dad Says, and which show do you prefer? Why do generational differences make such good source material?

  • What's the intended audience -- parents or kids? Is there something here for both?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family humor

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