Parents' Guide to

The Wonder Years (2021)

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Gentle nostalgia, keen insight in race-flipped reboot.

TV ABC Comedy 2021
The Wonder Years (2021) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 15+

Porn is normal and healthy?? Umm.

I had high hopes, but a clear message in episode 3 was that porn is normal and healthy for both children and adults to look at. What in the world?! Such a bummer. Hopefully this will warn others to look elsewhere for a family friendly show.
12 people found this helpful.
age 11+

Too much! Episode 4

I like the show so far and love watching images of a loving black family. I was a fan of the original series and was excited to see the reboot. Much to my surprise I watched episode 4 with my children and it discussed porn and sex and I was uncomfortable with it. It went in a direction I was no t prepared for. They did it tastefully sure, but the word “porn” was tossed around and I now have to have conversations I didn’t want to have on a Sunday afternoon. Children have access to content easily through so many mediums and platforms where as a child their age I definitely would have had to search for. Even with parental blocks content is served up to our children in music magazine and innocent family sitcoms. I just want some shows that I can watch without having to prescreen and that aren’t cartoons to watch with my girls. I will continue to watch the show but sigh…this episode disappointed me for that reason alone.
7 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Warm, lovely, and as suffused with gentle nostalgia as the original, this remake of the iconic late-'80s series recaptures the same sentimentality yet adroitly slips in modern cultural commentary. For although the Williams family exists in the same era as the Arnolds of the original, the experiences of the two families are distinctly different. The original Wonder Years spent surprisingly little time focusing on race despite its period setting during a tumultuous time for people of color in the United States; the reboot weaves insight about race and intolerance adroitly into stories about how one particular 12-year-old Black kid might feel. And with sweet, funny, well-meaning, and wide-eyed Dean as our avatar for late-'60s tumult, it all goes down very easily indeed.

"One thing about being 12 that hasn't changed over the decades is that it's around 12 that you figure out what your place is in the world," says narrator Don Cheadle in the first episode. True, and Dean's trying to carve a place for himself in a family where everyone seems like a superstar: His brother is an athlete and now a (Vietnam) war hero, his sister is a politically aware hipster who's also one of the popular kids, his mom is a smarty, his dad is a musician. Just where does Dean fit in? And how will a backdrop of charged racial incidents affect how he handles terrifying-enough-on-its-own adolescence? While it's curious that the new Wonder Years chose to focus on the same era as the original (creator Saladin K. Patterson is in his late '40s; if we were looking back at his high school experience, we'd be somewhere in the late '80s), it's interesting to have what amounts to a truly different take on a similar story -- one that centers on a young character with more on his mind than just his first kiss and fights with his family.

TV Details

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