Parents' Guide to

Sullivan & Son

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Bawdy, broad bar comedy has iffy content, sweet family ties.

TV TBS Comedy 2012
Sullivan & Son Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+


This is an awful show. The story line is preposterous, the banter is beyond weak. I'm also pretty sure that if I were Korean I would be personally insulted. As it is I find the show offensive. I could even get passed the rape joke if the rest of the show was funny. But it isn't. The jokes are pretty much non-existent and it's hard to choose what is worst, the unlikely story, the ridiculous stereotypes or the complete lack of humor. Bottom line is, it's just not funny.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Bawdy but genial, Sullivan & Son is miles better than some other workplace comedies, even if it shares the same annoying laugh track. As Steve Sullivan, Steve Byrne is genuine and relatable, even charming, playing straight man to the broad comedy going on around him that it makes jokes like "Cockfighting? Oh, the one with the birds!" almost bearable. Steve says he wants a more genuine life than the one he has in NYC as a corporate lawyer, and that's why he's come back to the bosom of his family and the bar he grew up in. That's something relatable, too, and provides a core of sweetness to all the off-color humor.

It's nice to see a show built on a functional family, and the members of the Sullivan family, though they complain about each other constantly, are clearly there for each other when needed. The barflies too, are there for each other, one barstool over: stoner-type Owen (Owen Benjamin), fiftyish party girl on the make Carol (Christine Ebersole), well-meaning little-bit-racist Hank (Brian Doyle-Murray), and the rest. It's impossible not to compare the show to Cheers; it has the same "where everybody knows your name" vibe. This show is no Cheers, though; it's not as witty and a lot more broad. But it means well, and has some nice family moments, even if parents will want to talk about some of the iffier jokes with kids.

TV Details

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