A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Jokes poke at sensitive topics, in a good way, sending messages about the value of holding on to playfulness and fun as we age. There are jokes about race, sexual orientation, religion, sex, drugs -- the humor is mature, but often sweet, too.
Positive Role Models
Hank, Charlie, Sid, and Margaret as characters are rather sitcom-stereotypical and the source of humor -- Charlie's an aging hippie; Sid, a gay man; Margaret's a hell-raiser; Hank's a misanthrope -- but they have a sweet bond, enjoy each other's company. It's also relatively rare to see a TV show with an older cast.
Violence & Scariness
Jokes may center on the macabre, like a trip friends make to a funeral home to get another friend's body. Characters may also level comic threats at each other: "I'm going to take my thumb and I'm going to push it on your eyeball until it pops out your ear," says Hank to Charlie.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Most sexual content comes in the form of jokes, like when Sid says a friend used to replace his beta blockers with "boner pills" and it did terrible things to his "little pecker."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language is generally used for comic effect and includes "son of a bitch," "bitch," "damn," "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Jokes aplenty about drugs, like when Mull says he once took LSD while drinking hard cider and can't eat apples anymore with his clothes on. Margaret says she got around a retirement community administrator by slipping her a sleeping pill and knocking "the bitch out." Alcohol is consumed in many scenes, and characters get sloppy and reckless when they drink.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Families need to know that The Cool Kids is a sitcom about fun-loving seniors who live together in a retirement village. Most of the questionable-for-kids content comes in the form of jokes, about sex (with jokes about body parts and "boner pills"), drugs (one cast member talks lovingly about his extensive experience with psychedelics), and all sorts of other sensitive topics: religion, race, etc. The show jokes around about age too, but frequently from a subversive point-of-view, making others' expectations of age the joke rather than age itself. Characters consume alcohol in many scenes and get drunk; a woman admits to "slipping" a rival a "sleeping pill" to "knock the bitch out" so that community residents can throw a forbidden party. Language is generally used for comic effect: "son of a bitch," "bitch," "damn," "hell."
Is It Any Good?
With good wisecracks elevated by comic actors who know how to land a joke, what could be a real cringefest winds up as a lot of fun. There's life in the old sitcom format yet, and despite a huge potential audience of TV-watching seniors, there's not actually a lot on the networks specifically aimed at them. Oh, sure, a Hot in Cleveland or a Grace and Frankie will pop up every now and again, but largely network TV is a landscape lousy with hot 20-somethings. But The Cool Kids is a potent argument for hiring actors with well-worn comedy muscles, with every single one of the main cast members delivering their lines with ease and panache. Jordan in particular is a stitch who cuts a Truman Capote-like figure playing a very rare TV bird indeed: a confident older gay man.
The setup is great too. In many ways, a retirement community is much like a college dorm: a coed cheek-to-jowl living situation filled with peers with too much time on their hands. It's easy to imagine a string of The Cool Kids adventures stretching into the future: The gang take a driving test! Throw a surprise party! Accidentally wind up feeding pot brownies to everyone at the retirement village! Schlocky? Sure. Hilarious? That too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Sitcoms for Your Next Family Binge-Watch
Classic Streaming TV Shows
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate