The Paul Reiser Show

Common Sense Media says

Sitcom star's comeback falls flat; plus bleeped swearing.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's no real sense of a positive message; the tone is decidedly self-deprecating on a variety of topics, from friendship and fatherhood to fame.

Positive role models

Paul and his friends have good intentions, but they screw up most of the time. Fathers are involved in their children’s lives, but they’re portrayed as hapless. Husbands and wives are harried and disconnected, etc.


Physical comedy includes accidental punching, slapping, etc.


Sexual innuendo, including allusions to sex in the context of marriage. Talk about being gay and coming out of the closet, etc.


Bleeped (but infrequent) swearing includes "s--t" and "f--k"; audible terms range from "hell" to "testicles."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Rare social drinking. A secondary character owns a restaurant/bar, so some scenes take place there.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adult-oriented primetime sitcom features occasional bleeped swearing ("s--t" and "f--k") in addition to audible words like "hell" and "testicles." There's also some sexual innuendo and allusions to having -- or not having -- sex in the confines of marriage. A few scenes take place in a bar/restaurant owned by a secondary character, and there's a little bit of physical comedy, too.

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What's the story?

THE PAUL REISER SHOW takes an art-imitating-life approach to situation comedy, starring stand-up comedian/actor Paul Reiser (Mad About You) as a fictionalized version of himself. Married (here to actress Amy Landecker) with a house and children -- and hardly as famous as he used to be -- he's now looking for the next big thing with help from a random assortment of accidental friends (Ben Shenkman, Duane Martin, Andrew Daly, and Omid Djalili).

Is it any good?


It's painful when a sitcom isn't funny, particularly when the star is a likeable comic actor who charmed audiences in the past opposite Helen Hunt in the long-running and relatable relationship comedy Mad About You. But that's the unfortunate reality of The Paul Reiser Show, an unintentionally sober comeback that succeeds only in setting Reiser further back.

Whether it's due to the random casting of actors who have no apparent chemistry with their leading man or lead-balloon writing that often fails to inspire even a chortle, The Paul Reiser Show just isn't working. And, sadly, that same description might soon apply to Reiser himself.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about shows starring real-life actors/comedians who essentially play themselves. How similar is Paul Reiser the character to the actual Paul Reiser? Thinking in terms of other series that successfully used the same concept (Seinfeld, Episodes, Curb Your Enthusiasm), how does this show compare?

  • Should a network series keep but bleep dirty words like "s--t" and "f--k" or just avoid using them in the first place? In the case of this show, does leaving the bleeped swearing in really add anything?

TV details

Cast:Amy Landecker, Ben Shenkman, Paul Reiser
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of The Paul Reiser Show was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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