Blasé family comedy OK (but boring) for teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The family unit is strong. They may have arguments or miscommunications, but they always come together in the end. Some typical family sitcom gender stereotyping, and the cast isn't at all diverse.

Not applicable

References made between adults as jokes and in arguments: "you pushed up your boobs," "should have seen me in the thong," etc.


Mild: "crap," "boobs," "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the series' adult characters bicker and have trite, insincere miscommunications. They also forgive each other and care tremendously for their kids -- despite the normal ups and downs of a middle class American family, nothing seems to interfere with this strong familial bond. There's no violence (except occasional accidental falls and sibling squabbles), but the language is a bit iffy, as are the sexual innuendos.

Kids say

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What's the story?

RODNEY is another formulaic family sitcom about an average American guy just trying to get by with the support of a wife and two kids. Comedian Rodney Carrington stars as Rodney Hamilton, and he certainly knows how to deliver funny lines, but it's doubtful whether kid viewers will understand the humor. One interesting angle to this show is that Rodney works by day at a fiberglass plant but would like to pursue his life-long dream of doing stand-up comedy. He gets gigs locally, but with the pressures that come with being the family breadwinner, he can't take on the dream full-time. He and his wife Trina (Jennifer Aspen) deal with the regular stress factors -- money, raising their sons -- but they always manage to kiss and make up, modeling a strong family unit with equal partners (though the division of household chores plays into a few gender stereotypes).

Is it any good?


Ultimately, Rodney is innocuous for older teens but probably boring, too. Keep an ear open for the show's mild profanity and sexual innuendos (references to sexy underwear and how women carry their breasts).

That said, the other characters -- including Rodney's best friend Barry (Nick Searcy) and flirty sister-in-law Charlie (Amy Pietz) -- don't add much to the show's depth. They just tag along on Rodney's adventures, usually delivering predictable punch lines. The show also suffers from a blatant lack of cast diversity; all of the main and supporting characters are white.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the family unit as depicted by the Hamilton family. Is this family "typical"? What's the definition of family -- is it even possible to define? Parents can discuss the many ways that families are defined today -- single parents, co-parenting, grandparents raising kids, families with parents of the same gender. Last but not least, how are gender stereotypes demonstrated by the division of household chores between the mom and dad?

TV details

Cast:Jennifer Aspen, Nick Searcy, Rodney Carrington
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

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Learning ratings

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

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