Side Order of Life

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Side Order of Life TV Poster Image
Inspirational Lifetime dramedy is sappy but sweet.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show is about being true to yourself, following your dreams, and living life to the fullest. That said, some of the characters' decisions can have a hard and/or painful impact on others.


And engaged couple wakes up in bed together. Couples occasionally kiss or embrace. Non-sexual scene of a woman in her underwear. Discussion of lovers, polygamy, dating, sex.


Occasional "damn" or "hell."


The main character drives a Toyota.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional social and celebratory drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedic drama focuses on adult issues like marriage, career, and death. Couples occasionally kiss, hug, and wake up in bed next to each other. Discussion of polygamy, lovers, and -- at least once -- "getting laid" makes for mature but still relatively mild conversation (even the swearing is on the light side: "damn," "hell," etc.). Some scenes are emotionally intense, such as when the main character's best friend gets cancer.

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What's the story?

A perfect fit for Lifetime - the network known for its female-friendly focus -- SIDE ORDER OF LIFE is an inspirational comedic drama that follows the social and professional exploits of 30-year-old Jenny McIntyre (Marisa Coughlin). Jenny is a photographer for a People magazine-type publication, but she yearns to report and write. She's also engaged to a nice, successful man (Jason Priestley) and is planning her wedding down to every last detail. But when she's blindsided by some tragic news, she reevaluates her life -- both her career and her impending marriage -- and makes some difficult but necessary changes.

Is it any good?

Harkening back to the days of Ally McBeal, Side Order of Life portrays a smart, quirky young woman struggling to find meaning in her life. And, like her 1990s counterpart, Jenny sometimes has surreal visions (remember the dancing baby?). But while Ally was equal parts wacky and romantic, Side Order leans heavily on sentimentality, with plenty of soft-focus scenes and slow-motion montages. Still, despite its cheesier elements, Side Order is appealing. Even if the notions of true love and living life to the fullest are fairly trite foundations for a series, they're inspirational all the same, and they ring true for many people.

Adult themes make the show best for teens and up, though racy content is minimal. Discussion of lovers, attraction, and an occasional kiss are about as sexy as things get. But talk of cancer, dying, and broken hearts may be too much for some viewers, both young and old.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about living life to its fullest. Parents and teens: Do you feel like you're living the best life you can? If not, what can you do differently? Does anything specific stand in the way of living your life to its fullest potential? Is it as easy to overhaul your life in the real world as it is on TV and in the movies? Why or why not? What advantages do TV and movie characters have?

TV details

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