The Kids Are Alright

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
The Kids Are Alright TV Poster Image
Warm, funny sitcom looks at a big family in the 1970s.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
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

Live for yourself, not for anyone else (not even your parents).


Positive Role Models & Representations

Family patriarch, Mike Cleary, is gruff but caring. The kids do their best but are also finding their own ways in the world. 


Two brothers are constantly fighting but it’s mostly played for laughs.


Some innuendo about masturbation.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBigguy29 October 17, 2018

The show was funny but one scene may offend parents

I watched the premeire of this show last night and I personally loved it I laughed long and hard this is good for people who grew up in the 70s .my aunt watched... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 and 15-year-old Written byAFishFam July 15, 2019

Fun family comedy with retro appeal

Set in the 1970's a large Catholic family full of boys who all have unique personalities get into hijinks that remind me of the Brady Bunch. As a child of... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byChloe M. December 28, 2018

Pretty good show!

I like this show. It's pretty funny. It pretty appropriate. The Kids Are Alright is a show about a family in the 1970's with 8 boys. It was only inapp... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 19, 2018

Frustrating Family in Decent Sitcom

This is a decent show, but by the pilot, the parents seem way too mean and uncaring, they're just downright frustrating. They do have some redeeming qualit... Continue reading

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? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family comedies

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