The Exes TV Poster Image

The Exes



Male bonding post-divorce is mild but unfunny.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Male friendships are a recurring theme -- and sometimes they even come before women and romance. Divorce is generally presented in a negative light.

Positive role models

The three main male characters are mildly stereotypical (one is a ladies' man, one is a neat freak, and another is a socially awkward slacker), but other dimensions emerge over time. Women play a largely supporting role, both as part of friendships and romantic relationships.

Not applicable

Mild sex jokes (for example, a reference to someone getting "nailed") and implied one-night stands with multiple partners. Rare kissing, no nudity.


Low-level language like "damn," plus words like "sexy," "panties," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking, with occasional overindulgence (shots, etc.). Some scenes take place in a bar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sitcom about post-divorce male bonding is pretty tame in terms of content, with light language ("damn" or "sexy" is typically as salty as it gets), scant sexual references (mostly implied hook-ups, etc., with no nudity), and occasional social drinking. That said, the themes are focused on adult experiences, and will likely not hold teens' attention.

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

Following the advice of his sympathetic divorce attorney (Kristen Johnston) after a painful split, Stuart (David Alan Basche) moves in to an apartment with two other divorced men, rounding out a mismatched trio of platonic roommates. But Stuart's needy, buttoned-up style doesn't always mesh with that of THE EXES he lives with: ladies' man Phil (Donald Faison) and socially awkward slacker Haskell (Wayne Knight).

Is it any good?


While it's great to see male bonding elevated above the level of, say, Two and a Half Men, The Exes certainly falls short on matching wits with Hot in Cleveland, the female-driven TV Land hit that precedes it. Part of the problem is the ho-hum writing, disappointingly devoid of smart quips or zingy one-liners. But there's also a lack of comedic chemistry among the central male cast that makes it difficult to care what becomes of them.

Of course, resurrecting former cast members from long-dead series can work (see: Hot in Cleveland). But in this case, there's an undefinable element missing -- and the fact that Knight hardly gets any screen time only makes us long for an appearance from Newman to liven things up a little.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about male friendships (sometimes called "bromances") and how they're typically portrayed on television. How do other shows about men and their friends compare to the relationships modeled in this series?

  • Do the characters reinforce any negative stereotypes about men and male behavior? Do any characters test the boundaries of what we typically think men say and do?

  • What are the real-life effects of divorce on two people who were once in love? Does divorce affect men any differently than it affects women? What about kids?

TV details

Premiere date:November 30, 2011
Cast:David Alan Basche, Donald Faison, Kristen Johnston
Network:TV Land
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

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Parent of an infant, 6, and 8 year old Written byMomma comma July 21, 2013

Good, not appropriate

Some scenes take place in a bar. Sexy stuff includes sex, labor, relationships, divorce, kissing, etc. Me and my spouse love it
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking