The Bill Engvall Show

Common Sense Media says

Blue Collar star takes on family comedy.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The parents are devoted to each other and their kids. Typical family and marital issues -- like communicating with teens, balancing family and work, and handling family finances -- are addressed with humor. Gender roles are fairly old-fashioned, with Mom doing the cooking and cleaning and Dad bringing home the paycheck, but the father does play an active role in raising the kids. The family often prays before meals, and parents and kids express their love for each other.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Light sexual innuendo played for humor -- for instance, a teen walks in on her parents naked in their bedroom (upper body nudity only, with the woman shown from behind), and a father uses phallus-shaped vegetables (cucumber, zucchini, etc.) when telling his son about using protection during sex. Brothers vaguely discuss how pregnancy occurs (the older one corrects the younger's misconception that French kissing does the job). One supporting adult male character often obsesses about the opposite sex. Typical dating and relationship issues arise in a household with two teens.

Language

Infrequent use of words like "bitch," "hell," "B.S.," and "ass."

Consumerism

Teen characters are frequent users of the Internet, video games, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The father usually pops open a beer when he comes home from work.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fairly standard family sitcom revolves around issues that will resonate with many families -- especially those with teens. Marital strife, communication troubles with teens, and balancing family and work life are just some of the issues that are addressed (with humor, of course). Sexuality -- as it relates to teens dating and a middle-aged couple trying to keep the spark alive -- is often touched upon, the father likes his beer, and there's some relatively mild language. But overall, the family unit is an admirable one: The parents communicate honestly with their kids and maintain a loving relationship.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Comedian Bill Engvall (Blue Collar TV) stars in THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW as Bill Pearson, a family therapist whose knack for leading clients to their own relationship breakthroughs belies the controlled chaos that marks his own home life. Although Bill's family is his passion, he must learn to balance his desire to help with his kids' need to handle things on their own. Bill's long-suffering wife, Susan (Nancy Travis), is usually the model of decorum while handling the demands of the couple's three kids, but even she can come unhinged by their escapades. That said, whether it's teen daughter Lauren's (Jennifer Lawrence) pleas for a navel piercing, blissful underachiever Trent's (Graham Patrick Martin) suddenly burgeoning social life, or young germaphobe Brian's (Skyler Gisondo) escaped constrictor snake, there doesn't seem to be anything that this lighthearted couple can't overcome with a little love -- and a great sense of humor.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Like many sitcoms before it, The Bill Engvall Show sets out to put a relatable comic spin on the everyday woes of marriage, family, and work. From teen dating to sibling rivalry to keeping the magic alive in a middle-aged marriage, parents will find a lot to chuckle at as the Pearsons muddles through life's ups and downs. Teens might also be entertained, but occasional strong language and sex references might be iffy for tweens.

Even though the show isn't exactly reinventing the sitcom wheel, one bright spot is that, despite typical TV spats and family dysfunction, the characters respect one another, communicate well, and don't have any qualms saying how they feel about each other (while managing to avoid the sweet sappiness that can plague overly touchy-feely shows).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the show compares to their own life. Are the characters and storylines believable? Why or why not? Teens: How does the parents' way of talking to their kids compare to your parents'? Do you wish your parents were more like the Pearsons? If so, in what way? How does this sitcom compare to others you've seen? What makes it more or less funny (or relatable) than others? How does media portray American families? Is it possible to define a "typical" family in our society?

TV details

Cast:Bill Engvall, Jennifer Lawrence, Nancy Travis
Network:TBS
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Bill Engvall Show was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bygenericscreenname1 October 7, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
One might think that Bill Engvall would have a hilarious sitcom based on his standup work, but he doesn't.
Teen, 14 years old Written byheymondayfan July 18, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Typical family comedy

Just what the title says. It is a typical set up-Mom, Dad, two boys and one girl, teen issues, blah blah blah. It's light-hearted, good for the whole family. Unoriginal, but has its funny moments.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bydavswife April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Story of our life....

I have been married for 22 years and have 2 teens and a 4 yr old. This show is funny (not as funny as I would have expected from the comedian). My family enjoys watching (although it is after the 4 yr old is in bed). We have dealt with almost every issue this show has dealt with so far and we handled it pretty much in the same manner. It reminds me of our life and when my teens are gone...I hope this show is still on so I can relive it and not feel so empty nested. I give it a TWO THUMS UP! I Tivo it so we can re-watch it throughout the week until the next episode comes on. Thanks for the great family comedy!

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