Parents' Guide to

The McCarthys

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Mediocre show mines sexual identity, family for laughs.

TV CBS Comedy 2014
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This series mines common comedy threads such as overbearing parents and the generation gap for its laughs, but in so doing, it falls back on too many clichés and feels predictable and stale. Ronny's sexuality is an unnecessarily dominant plot point, which makes the related stereotypes (particularly the one about gay guys and their athletic insufficiencies) even more prominent than they otherwise would be. The characters around him are similarly typecast: the judgmental father, the coddling but manipulative mother, the high school jock who hasn't grown up, and so on.

Of course, you don't have to be the Cleavers to represent modern family values, and for better or worse, the McCarthys are a bonded group that pulls together when the chips are down. In particular, Ronny's relationship with his mom is touching, if a bit overwhelming at times. But while teens might see the humor in the stereotypes, they're also filled with cumbersome mixed messages. The bottom line? There are better options out there for family sitcoms than The McCarthys that don't come with so much baggage.

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