Sons of Tucson TV Poster Image

Sons of Tucson



Kids lie to get by in this cheeky, so-so sitcom.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ultimately, the message could be that a family unit -- no matter how unconventional -- is important. But that's not the emphasis of the show at all. Most of the time, the art of deception is what's being celebrated.

Positive role models

Nobody's winning any awards for their behavior, save one female teacher who takes pride in doing her job well. The main character routinely lies and says inappropriate things, while the kids con others and occasionally steal things, like camping fuel.


Some mid-level kicking, punching, and hitting, plus a few stronger incidents involving an adult bully who chases characters around with a baseball bat, smashing car windows, and threatening serious bodily harm.


Some adult-oriented innuendo young viewers might not catch, including a character who knocks someone out then suggests the kids help her "get his pants off" so she can "go pick out the right wig."


Adult characters use terms like "douche bag," "damn," and "hell." An 8-year-old character uses the phrase "piss off."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters aren't usually shown drinking alcohol but an adult character tries to sell himself as a guardian by telling the kids, "I can buy beer...not that you should be drinking, although it can be fun sometimes. But you'll do regrettable things. Don't drink."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some iffy messages here for a show that seems to be targeting kids and their parents, including the central premise that kids can largely take care of themselves without any adults around. The brothers' desire to stay together -- rather than be sent to separate foster homes -- is what motivates them to lie, but they lie a lot nonetheless and don't seem to think it's all that dishonorable. There's also a good bit of cartoonish violence, some of which is quite startling, and some gateway swearing like "damn," "hell," and "piss off."

Parents say

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What's the story?

In SONS OF TUCSON, brothers Brandon (Matthew Levy), Gary (Frank Dolce), and Robby Gunderson (Benjamin Stockham) are left to fend for themselves when their wealthy banker father lands in jail on a 25-year prison \

Is it any good?


In terms of plot, Sons of Tucson asks a lot from its audience and doesn't necessarily pay them back with the laugh-out-loud moments they might have been expecting. We're left wondering whether this would have played better as a Jack Black movie. After all, Labine is pretty much a Black lookalike -- down to his line delivery -- and you can't help but feel that his Ron could be friends with Black's Dewey Finn from School of Rock (or any of his other characters, for that matter).

Eerie similarities aside, Sons of Tucson gets points for its attempt to appeal to both kids and their parents. But some of the humor crosses the line in terms of appropriateness for tween viewers, even though two of the three Gunderson kids are supposed to be preteens themselves. Parents can watch with their kids, but be prepared for a Grandma who keeps dead squirrels in the freezer and has some pretty strange sexual fetishes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's use of violence as a comedic tool and whether any of it crosses the line. Why is it funny to see someone get hurt? Do you think most kids connect violent acts they see on sitcoms or cartoons with their real-life consequences?

  • In some ways, the show suggests that children can raise themselves without much parental guidance. Do you think that's a realistic idea? What types of things do moms and dads do that are irreplaceable? Do you think you could make it without your parents in the picture?

  • Do you think this series would have worked better as a movie? Why or why not? What are the advantages to doing it as a television show?

TV details

Premiere date:March 14, 2010
Cast:Frank Dolce, Matthew Levy, Tyler Labine
TV rating:TV-PG

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Kid, 10 years old March 15, 2010
I Need To Watch That Show
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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