Parents' Guide to

Who's the Boss?

By Audrey Shapiro, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Classic '80s sitcom about a blended family.

Who's the Boss? Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 10+

There's something that you overlooked.

Challenging traditional gender roles and turning them upside down was (and is) a good thing. However, you did not point out that it's hard to tell the kids from the adults. Not physically, of course, but the adults here are nothing like Mr. Drummond from DIFF'RENT STROKES. Granted, I only saw the show a couple times and disliked it for that reason, and maybe I didn't give the show enough of a chance, and maybe this observation isn't completely accurate, but that's just my perception.
age 12+

Good family show for older kids and parents to view together

I loved this show as a teenager and when it recently came back on TV I noticed it was given the 8 and up review, but I must say I disagree. It has quite a bit of sexual jokes and innuendos, especially from the grandmother. I feel it's a good show overall, but more appropriate when kids hit around puberty and then it would still be good to watch with their parents as a family so topics could be discussed, (like premarital sex, which is frequently hinted at from the grandmother.) The main characters do have, overall, good values.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (8):

This long-running sitcom (1984-1992) was one of the first to turn traditional family and gender roles upside down. Even though its stereotypical characters border on corny, WHO'S THE BOSS? manages to be loveable and charming for today's audience, thanks largely to the chemistry of the talented ensemble cast. The show provides a glance back at how television has evolved along with social roles, hairstyles, and clothing. Its charm is in watching macho Italian male Tony manage emotional challenges and domestic chores with integrity and finesse.

The evolution of Tony and Angela's relationship and the growth of the children over the course of the series add depth to the storyline -- we see tomboy Samantha grow up and start dating and eventually get married. And Tony's sensitive, self-deprecating wit balances Angela's intensity as they work together to raise a family. Watching the subtleties of their relationship evolve becomes a central theme of the show. Sure, some of the jokes fall flat, but this classic sitcom is enjoyable family television with a clear message: Families come in many varieties.

TV Details

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