Step by Step

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Step by Step TV Poster Image
Family steps up to the task of blending lives.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The parents are patient, loving role models for the kids and handle the challenges of step-parenting with confidence born of their strong relationship with each other.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Among the teens, there's talk of "picking up" guys/girls and which ones are the most attractive and, therefore, desirable. Kissing is shown occasionally, but it never goes further than that.


"Oh my God," "sex," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this show portrays a newly blended family of eight striving for cohesion. The first-time step-parents sometimes feel out of their league, but by being open-minded and willing to learn from their mistakes, they eventually strike a balance that works for everyone. Very little in the show will raise eyebrows, and the subject matter will resonate with many families.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychristian-witness June 29, 2012
Teen, 13 years old Written byMaceWindu March 12, 2021

11 and up

There is a lot of sex. Dana is my favorite she is a great role model.
Kid, 12 years old October 3, 2020

Pretty good tv show, overall.

It has realistic characters and some pretty good morals. Definetly not for young children, though.

What's the story?

Taking a page from the 1970s classic The Brady Bunch, STEP BY STEP is the story of two parents and six kids who, with a little work, might somehow form a family. When divorced construction worker Frank Lambert (Patrick Duffy of Dallas fame) and widowed beautician Carol Foster (Suzanne Somers of Three's Company) meet on vacation and impulsively marry, the ensuing blending of their families poses challenges for everyone. Uptight Carol and her three kids -- Dana (Staci Keanan), Karen (Angela Watson), and Mark (Christopher Castle) -- couldn't be more unlike laid-back Frank and his brood: J.T. (Brandon Call), Alicia (aka \"Al,\" played by Christine Lakin), and Brendan (Josh Byrne). When the kids find out about their parents' spontaneous matrimony, they're not thrilled. Not only is there understandable tension in the new household -- and fresh rivalries among the new step-siblings -- there's also downright dislike, as in the case of Dana and J.T. Carol and Frank mesh their parenting styles and keep cool heads as they handle both typical childrearing issues and the unique challenges presented by their new family.

Is it any good?

This family-friendly sitcom is a great choice for step-parents and step-children (or any family, really) to enjoy together. Originally broadcast as part of ABC's TGIF line-up in the early '90s, Step by Step now airs in syndication and is available on DVD.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what (and who) should define a family. Parents and step-parents can also discuss the challenges of combining two families. How can new family members find ways to relate to each other? How do the characters improve their relationships and learn to respect each other? Does their situation seem realistic?

TV details

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Themes & Topics

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