Up All Night

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Up All Night TV Poster Image
Parenting sitcom has relatable messages for families.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series paints a fairly realistic picture of the struggles of modern parents balancing the demands of work and family. The stay-at-home dad and working mom challenge stereotypical gender roles, although the issues that they face (division of labor in the home, self-doubt, and feeling lost in their new parental roles) transcend the change. Recurring themes include conflict resolution, communication, and the evolution of relationships.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Reagan and Chris aren't perfect as parents or partners, but they recognize their mistakes and work together to improve their situation. Their love for their daughter and commitment to family life take priority, even when that puts them in awkward situations with an employer or with friends. They do succumb to the pressures of parenthood, though, and are known to drink to cope.


Married couples are seen cuddling in bed, and men walk around shirtless. Sexy talk includes references to "doing it," "making out," and dressing "slutty" to appeal to a partner. Couples kiss, and brief same-sex kissing is played for humor.


Most of the salty stuff is bleeped, including "f--k," "damn," and "s--t." "Ass" is audible, along with marginal language like "screw" and "pissed."


Clips from and references to other NBC shows like Today and Ellen are sometimes incorporated into the storyline.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults often drink beer, wine, and mixed concoctions to unwind, and in some cases, overindulgence affects their behavior and causes hangovers the next day. A main character's habitual drinking is played for humor and has little consequence.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sitcom has adult dialogue that references sexual topics like "doing it" and "making out," and couples are affectionate (kissing, embracing in bed) with each other on screen. Salty language ("ass," mostly) is occasional, although most of the rough stuff -- like "f--k" and "s--t" -- is bleeped. The show is best appreciated by adults who will identify with the characters' struggles with new parenthood, but its themes about open communication, respect, and healthy relationships are worthy of teens' time, too. Watch out for examples of drinking as a coping mechanism, and use the instances to talk with your teen about the real-life consequences of alcohol use.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydr dew October 3, 2011


well me and two of my siblings love this show and think it is just so funny and it is not all that dirty either so you may could even watch as a family

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What's the story?

UP ALL NIGHT stars Christina Applegate as Reagan Brinkley, a new mom who's trying to juggle the demands of parenthood, family life, and a successful career. Reagan and her husband, Chris (Will Arnett) -- who gave up his law career to stay home and raise their daughter -- are the poster parents for the modern family, and with no how-to manual to guide their way, they're just making it up as they go. Balancing their new roles as parents with their nostalgia for their pre-baby days makes for some rough patches, and the nagging demands of Reagan's eccentric boss, Ava (Maya Rudolph), further complicate the Brinkleys' life transition.

Is it any good?

Parenthood and comedy go together like peanut butter and jelly in the TV world, and many a sitcom has relied on the follies of child-rearing for staying power on the tube. Up All Night's talented cast helps viewers overlook its recycled premise, and modern families will appreciate that it shakes up the traditional family make-up by making Mom the breadwinner and Dad the homemaker. There's also an honesty to the content that reflects the issues that real families face, giving grown-ups a chance to chuckle over woes to which they likely can relate.


Teens might get a kick out of some of the scenes -- particularly those featuring Rudolph's outrageous portrayal of an Oprah-esque, co-dependent TV personality with larger-than-life dreams -- but it's really meant for those viewers who can identify with Chris and Reagan's predicament. If teens do watch, though, they'll come away with the sense that although life is never perfect, the journey is worthwhile when love and communication exist within the family structure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the struggles they face. Is it difficult to balance school, work, hobbies, and family time? How do you ensure you're giving proper attention to every aspect of your life? What routines in your household help keep you on track?

  • Teens: How is drinking portrayed in this show? Does it have a positive or negative connotation? Is it OK for such a serious issue to be a source of humor on TV?

  • What qualities are important in a healthy relationship? How can outside factors affect a relationship? How do you foster your own friendships or connections with loved ones?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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