The Bernie Mac Show

TV review by
Betsy Wallace, Common Sense Media
The Bernie Mac Show TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Family sitcom with grouchy, lovable dad is funny, creative.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

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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

The show handles the day-to-day experiences of family life with humor. Characters learn and demonstrate strong communication.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The kids can be mischievous, but overall they're good role models who think for themselves. Bernie Mac handles family life with humor. The family is a positive representation of African American family life.


Sex-related issues arise as the kids mature. Episodes have involved teen Vanessa dressing provocatively (in Bernie's eyes) and wanting to date. Once 8-year-old Bryana accidentally saw Bernie naked.


Occasional mild profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in The Bernie Mac Show Mac plays a gruff but loving father figure who, despite some claims to the contrary, is happy to share his home and his life with his sister's children. This series is funny and creative, and parents who enjoy Mac's brand of humor are likely to enjoy it as much as their children do. Episodes deal with more mature themes as the children age, but there's not a lot to worry about here.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTheTrillonaire August 9, 2014
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byklabick September 15, 2012

very good

Very good show for kids.
Teen, 15 years old Written byJennypenny123 April 1, 2013

Bernie Mac Show

The Bernie Mac show was probably the most hilarious tv show that I have ever seen. He was a very funny man and always had something funny to say.
Kid, 12 years old December 8, 2010

Who you with? Kickin' it with Bernie! R.I.P

To put it simply, he is funny, and he is gone. He was possibly the most funny man on telivision. We miss him so. RIP Bernie Mac.

What's the story?

On THE BERNIE MAC SHOW, Bernie Mac, who died in 2008, was on his way to becoming a memorable TV dad. A stand-up comedian both on the show and in real life, he played a lovable grouch who's just trying to maintain some control over his environment. Bernie McCullough (Mac) and his wife Wanda (Kellita Smith), a business executive, didn't plan on being parents, but took in Bernie's sister's kids. Bernie and Wanda create a loving family environment, but the kids constantly pose new challenges and parenting is the fodder of most episodes. Oldest daughter Vanessa (Camille Winbush) scares Uncle Bernie to death with her teenage interests, pre-pubescent Jordan (Jeremy Suarez) confuses his uncle with his offbeat intelligence, and precocious Bryana (Dee Dee Davis) wants her own room.

Is it any good?

Viewers and critics alike responded well to this series: It won the Peabody Award, an Emmy for outstanding writing, and an NAACP Image Award, among numerous other honors. If you don't like Bernie Mac's comic style, you probably won't like this show. But many parents, teens, and older tweens will appreciate that this family of smart individuals teaches Mac as much as he tries to teach them.

The Bernie Mac Show is similar to Everybody Loves Raymond in that the dad's foibles and complaints are a main focus of the show, but it breaks away from the pack because the children emerge as full-fledged characters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Mac's brusque approach to fatherhood in The Bernie Mac Show. Are his reactions to the kids' behavior realistic? Does he ever over-react?

  • The show also offers an opportunity to discuss non-traditional families. Do your kids know anyone in a similar situation to the show's McCullough family? How would they feel in Bernie's kids' place?

  • How do the characters on The Bernie Mac Show demonstrate communication? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sitcoms

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

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