Splitting Up Together

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Splitting Up Together TV Poster Image
Divorced but still loving family works to figure it out.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

A woman who complains that her husband lost sexual interest in her is told that her (lack of) fashion sense is part of the problem, sending a message that a woman's appearance is of utmost importance in romance. Families bicker, but they're supportive and loving, too, especially when the chips are down. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lena and Martin are both great parents who care about their kids and do their best, even if their methods vary widely. Kids Mae, Mason, and Milo are allowed to be realistic and quirky. 

Violence

Violence is theoretical and mentioned in jokes like when Lena refers to divorcing as "shooting Old Yeller right between the eyes" or a man says if his wife ever left him he would kill himself. 

Sex

A married couple refers to "sleeping in separate bedrooms" in contrast to the past when they were "all over each other." We see them kissing passionately in bed in their underwear as dialogue refers to the "vigorous sex" they were having. A woman texts a winky face to her child by accident, which a friend later refers to as "sexting." A doctor advises a teen boy to masturbate to relieve pain in his testicles. Expect talk of dating, flirting, crushes, sex. 

Language

Language is mild and infrequent, except for occasional bleeped cursing, like when a surprised woman asks "What the f--k (bleeped) was that?" Otherwise, language tends toward expressions like "crap," "balls" (the body part), "screw." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine, beer, and cocktails at parties and dinners; no one acts drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Splitting Up Together is a comedy about parents who decide to divorce and uphold a "bird's nest" arrangement where the kids stay in the family home and parents alternate weeks living there with the kids. Most of the possibly objectionable content in this show arrives in the form of humor about sex or violence: A woman accidentally texts her son a "winky" face, which a friend refers to as "sexting," a man deeply in love with his wife says he'd kill himself if she left him. Expect jokes about masturbation, casual sex, marital sex, body parts, romance. Language is infrequent, with little cursing. A joke in which a woman asks "What the f--k was that?" with her mouth blurred and the sound bleeped is the exception to this rule, but in general language is of the "crap," "balls," and "screw" variety. Adults drink beer or wine socially; no one acts drunk. Parents and family members argue, but they're supportive when someone needs help. Teens and tweens are given space to work out their problems with caring and understanding parents. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTab M. April 13, 2018

Not for young kids or way teens

Sexual first episode is about young child needing to masturbate and objectifying the female body inorder to due so. Also about parent reconnecting after divorc... Continue reading
Adult Written byCommon S. September 1, 2018

Don’t think Hollywood has kids...or they just don’t care

If you think talking about and encouraging your teens masturbation practices, their friends getting Syphyllis from the hot girl at school, like it’s a good thin... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bywizardortitan March 29, 2018

Family comedy with some raunch

I'm a bit surprised by Common Sense Media's 12+ age recommendation on a show that was so focused on sex in its first episode. There's references... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjyang0512 March 27, 2018

What's the story?

Once upon a time, Lena (Jenna Fischer) and Martin (Oliver Hudson) were madly in love. But when responsibilities and obligations took the place of desire and romance, they both stopped enjoying their marriage. Now they have a new plan for their lives: They're SPLITTING UP TOGETHER, with kids Mae (Olivia Keville), Mason (Van Crosby), and Milo (Sander Thomas) staying in the family home, and the parents alternating weeks living in the house or in the garage. It's not a situation many would find easy to navigate. But with Lena and Martin experiencing both a new freedom as well as a burgeoning respect and appreciation for each other, one question stands out: Could splitting up be the very thing that brings them back together? 

Is it any good?

When a miserable couple decides to call it quits on their marriage but not their co-parenting partnership, an enjoyable something-for-everybody comedy is born. Watching a show about a family that's breaking apart sounds like a great big bummer, but Splitting Up Together manages to lighten the tension with great gags. Mae, Lena and Martin's acerbic teenage daughter, gets some of the best lines. When her mother discovers that Martin has been sending the kids to school with money to buy lunch instead of packing it for them, Mae cops to saving her money to buy a cup from the "Young Feminist Caucus" (which reads "Male Tears"). For his part, Martin's been enjoying his freedom from Lena's demands by rediscovering his "collection of ugly hats," and turning off the dehumidifier she insists be left constantly running. 

Raising kids together without being together is a natural source of comedic complications: Who takes care of what? Where does the responsibility of one parent end and another begin? Is it even possible to start dating again when your ex lives just a couple of hundred feet away and knows your every coming and going? Should this couple even be splitting up at all, given that their new living arrangement is forcing them to communicate and work with each other even more than they did before? But make no mistake, this show is no "will they or won't they?" sitcom scenario. Together, Lena and Martin are far less interesting than struggling apart -- and the more they struggle, the more you'll enjoy watching. Try this one on with your teens and/or mature tweens; it just may catch on. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Splitting Up Together compares to other family-centered shows. Does the content seem more or less realistic than others? Do the central relationships seem nontraditional to you? How are they different from other sitcom families?

  • How does the media portray relationships in general? Is it ever appropriate to use stereotypes as a way of portraying them? Why do you think topics such as unplanned pregnancy, divorce, sex, and sexual identity are dealt with so frequently on TV shows and in movies? 

  • How do the characters in Splitting Up Together demonstrate communication and humility? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

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