The Haves and the Have Nots

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Haves and the Have Nots TV Poster Image
Steamy, soapy drama has sexy stuff, drinking, scandals.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series underscores that what appear to be perfect lives are sometimes very dysfunctional. The series contains questionable messages about family, relationships, and other issues, but bribery and addiction are presented as a very negative behaviors.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As typical soap opera characters, the people all have their secrets, and some will stop at nothing to protect them. The cast is racially diverse, but the domestic employees are solely African-American and Latina.


Arguments occasionally break out. One character cuts herself.


Sexual material includes scenes of people in bed and partially dressed (no nudity). Prostitution, illicit affairs, and other themes are prominent.


Words like "piss" are audible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink champagne, wine, and cocktails. Some cast members are struggling with and/or recovering from alcohol and drug addiction problems.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Haves and the Have Nots contains all the traditional trappings of a typical soap opera, including lots of scandals, sexual content (including themes like extramarital affairs and prostitution), folks in partial stages of undress, and other steamy stuff. Drinking is frequent, and addiction, cutting, and other destructive behaviors are discussed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWallawalla1026 June 17, 2020


This show is just AWFUL! It doesn't give real portrayals of real people, especially not real white people, black people, or gay people. The only real peopl... Continue reading
Adult Written bySunnyronda April 8, 2020

Please clean up your commercials!

I don’t watch this show because I don’t respect this type but I’m constantly muting the commercials that display the behaviors I don’t want to see. I do not th... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 15, 2016


Well it ok just has some Sexy and swear words and some violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byChloe427 June 27, 2013


Awesome show I am 13 nothing bad at all but kissing (affairs)

What's the story?

THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS, a dramatic soap opera created, written, produced, and directed by Tyler Perry, centers around the rich, powerful, and dysfunctional Cryer family of Savannah, Georgia, and the hired help who work on the estate. Family patriarch Jim Cryer (John Schneider) is a powerful judge with political ambitions, but his extramarital life threatens to harm his career as well as his family's reputation -- something that his wife Katheryn (Renee Lawless) will stop at nothing to protect. Their adult children, including troubled son Wyatt (Aaron O'Connell) who struggles with addiction, and daughter Amanda (Jacyln Betham) who is buckling under pressure to live up to her family's expectations, add to the drama. Meanwhile, the family's new maid, Hanna Young (Crystal Fox), is trying to keep her own family going, and relies on her son Benny (Tyler Lepley) to help her. But things get complicated when Hanna's estranged daughter Candace (Tika Sumpter) befriends members of the wealthy family as a way of of manipulating her way into a world of money and influence. Adding to the mix are the Cryer's wealthy friends Veronica and David Harrington (played by Angela Robinson and Peter Parros), and Celine, the family's chef (Eva Tamargo).

Is it any good?

The Haves and the Have Nots pays tribute to the traditional TV soap operas of times past, thanks to its ensemble of attractive characters, endlessly intertwining plot lines, steamy scandals, and of course, over-the-top melodramatic music. The stories are rather predictable, too, even though they are updated to reflect contemporary social issues.

The series offers a more diverse cast than classic series like Dallas, but the overall production may feel slow or outdated to viewers who are unfamiliar with the nature of classic soap series or who are looking for more action-oriented entertainment. But audiences who like or miss this type of soapy distraction may be drawn to this guilty pleasure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about soap operas. What exactly is a soap opera? What are some of the most famous soap operas to air on American television? What made them so popular? What are some of the differences between early soap operas and what people consider to be soap operas today?

  • Soap operas and other TV shows geared towards teens feature lots of risky behaviors, like promiscuity and drinking. Why? What kind of impact can this have on the teens who are viewing these behaviors on television?

  • Can you tell this show is a Tyler Perry production? What are some trademarks of his work?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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