The Cool Kids

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Cool Kids TV Poster Image
Throwback sitcom has mature (and funny) humor.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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. 


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. 


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." 


Language is generally used for comic effect and includes "son of a bitch," "bitch," "damn," "hell." 

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. 

What 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." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDotson05 October 10, 2018


The whole cast is great. Amazing. A good comedy is hard to find these days!
Parent of a 13, 13, 14, and 15-year-old Written byDio fry January 31, 2019

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What's the story?

At Shady Meadows retirement village, Hank (David Alan Grier), Charlie (Martin Mull), Margaret (Vicki Lawrence), and Sid (Leslie Jordan) are THE COOL KIDS, seniors who want to keep having goofy adventures instead of settling down to their golden years. This sitcom was co-created by Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Paul Fruchbom (Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television) and is based on Day's time working in a senior community. 

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Cool Kids' viewpoints on age. Does it reflect or shatter stereotypes about people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s? Are older people the butt of jokes here, or are they the tellers of jokes? 

  • There aren't very many TV shows about older people. Why do you think this is? What type of viewer is this show aimed at? How can you tell? 

  • Have you seen co-creator Charlie Day's other show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? What do you think about a younger person's idea of what older people are like? 

TV details

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