A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series reflects some of the values of the show's original 1970's era, including some sexist gender stereotypes and behaviors.
Positive Role Models
Jack's masquerade as a gay man is often played for laughs. Chrissy is a "dumb blonde." Jack does much of the cooking and some cleaning in the house, but the female characters often resort to tears and panic in cases of stress or fright.
Violence & Scariness
Physical humor includes tumbles, collisions, and a few slaps, but it's all for laughs and doesn't lead to injury.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A large portion of the show's humor is based on sexual innuendoes, strong flirting scenes, and misinterpreted signals between the sexes. But the mood is kept light to play up the laughs. Female characters dress in tight pants, short shorts, and clingy tops, and occasionally they're seen in lingerie. Men often gaze longingly at pretty women or mention to their buddies the attractiveness of a woman's features.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several scenes either take place in the local bar (the Regal Beagle) and/or include alcohol, but drinking is reserved for the over-21 crowd.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this still-hilarious '70s sitcom relies on sexual innuendo, silly physical humor, and monumental misunderstandings for its well-earned laughs. Throughout the series, Jack pretends to be gay so that his traditional landlords will allow him to live with two single women. There's no substantive negative commentary on homosexuality (though Jack sometimes camps it up a bit), but the masquerade is played for humor time and time again. The onscreen chemistry between Janet, Chrissy, and Jack (who fancies himself a ladies' man but rarely enjoys great luck with them) brings the subject of sexual attraction to the forefront, but the constant slapstick comedy keeps the tone light enough for family viewing with tweens. Even the innuendos seem pretty tame by today's standards; Chrissy's dumb-blonde shtick might raise more eyebrows among modern parents. Some kids might find the characters' constant mix-ups stressful.
Is It Any Good?
As you can imagine, a premise based on one major misunderstanding just begs for more to follow -- and they certainly do. The name of the game here is comedy of misheard comments, misinterpreted situations, slapstick clumsiness, and drawn-out double entendres. Over the course of the show's eight-year run, Jack & co. weathered many personnel changes (including the memorable addition of Don Knotts as new landlord Mr. Furley), but their onscreen chemistry held strong.
Although plenty of Three's Company's humor has sexual tones, the mood is so light and silly that it's really pretty harmless. Kids old enough to pick up on the flirting and longing gazes likely will understand their place in the overall comedy, and younger tweens will miss most of it amid the clumsy physical humor that's so prevalent. The only thing to really watch out for is the mild teasing that surrounds Mr. Roper's belief in Jack's homosexuality. While even that's kept very light, it's pretty frequent (he often refers to Jack as "one of the girls") and may raise questions from kids.
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