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The Kids Are Alright
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Kids Are Alright is a family sitcom set in 1972 that tells the story of the Cleary clan, a family with eight sons. Funny and good-natured, this a nostalgia trip that has more in common with The Wonder Years than snarkier shows like That 70’s Show or The Goldbergs. With little edgy content, parents should feel comfortable watching this with teens and tweens. And with the wide age range of the Cleary boys, kids should be able to find at least one character they can relate to.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT takes us back to 1972 in a Southern California suburb and that’s where we meet the Cleary family: Mike (Michael Cudlitz), Peggy (Mary McCormack), and their eight sons ranging in age from 20 down to a year old. Middle son Timmy serves as the entry point and it’s his nostalgic, adult voiceover that introduces the viewer to the sprawling family. Devout Catholics, Mike and Peggy are proudest of their older son, Lawrence who has just come home to visit from his first year at the seminary. Even though he wears his hair long and has a beard, Lawrence is given a pass by his conservative parents because they’re just so excited at the prospects of having a priest in the family. However when Lawrence decides to leave the seminary to go find himself and Timmy decides he wants to be in show business, the Cleary's hectic household is going to have to learn to adjust with the times.
Is it any good?
Nostalgic and good-hearted, this series uses the familiar convention of an adult narrator looking back and commenting on his quirky childhood. While it may be a little derivative, The Kids Are Alright more than makes up for it in well-done period detail and strong acting from Cudlitiz and McCormack. The challenge may be in giving each of the sons enough screen time to make the breadth of the family worthwhile from a story perspective, but it's a fun premise with lots of potential.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about different styles of parenting. How do Mike and Peggy use their position as parents to guide their kids into the roles they think they should be in? Does The Kids Are Alright portray this as positive? Negative? Both?
What do you think it's like to be in a really big family? Would it be fun? Stressful?
For kids who love family comedies
Our editors recommend
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.