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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that United We Fall is a comedy series that features a closeknit extended family getting through day-to-day life. The messages are overall positive about the challenges of parenting and unconditional family love. There are a few strong words (like "crap") and some yelling, but otherwise it's lighthearted and tween-friendly. There are lighthearted references to kissing and appropriate prescription medication use, but nothing really to worry about.
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What's the story?
UNITED WE FALL is a family sitcom about a set of overwhelmed parents who are doing their best. Bill (Will Sasso) and Jo (Christina Vidal) are working parents raising their quirky young daughter Emily (Ella Grace Helton) and toddler Lulu Ryan (played by Ireland and Sedona Carvajal). They try to make the best decisions for their kids, but often question whether their parenting skills are good enough. Adding to the pressure is Bill’s mom Sandy (Jane Curtin), who lives with them and thinks nothing of criticizing their decisions. Jo’s annoying brother Chuy (Guillermo Diaz) doesn’t hold back either. It’s not easy, but Bill and Jo do their best to remind themselves that no family is perfect, and that no matter what, their family shares a lot of love.
Is it any good?
This predictable series offers the familiar trappings we come to expect from a family comedy. There’s the well-meaning, but imperfect parents, the precocious child who sounds like an adult, and the loving, but nosey, extended family members who join the fray. The plot lines, which includes parent-teacher conferences and having to rush their children to the emergency room, aren’t particularly unique either. But United We Fall is upbeat, and the family’s multiethnic heritage, as well as Will’s sensitive nature, adds a very slight twist to the formula. It’s not the freshest of shows, but it's worth tuning into if you’re looking for something that feels positive and familiar.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenges that come with having children and raising a family. What messages does United We Fall offer about what it means to be a "normal" family? How does it define good parenting?
How can a sitcom rely on traditional TV formulas and still be funny and innovative? Does its success rely on good writing? The acting? How much does timing have to do with it?
What are some ways the Ryan family reflects your own family? What are some differences?
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