A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Workin' Moms is a comedy about women trying to balance the demands of motherhood and their careers. The moms on this show provide excellent representations of realistic women struggling to accomplish things at work while caring tenderly for their families; the moms make mistakes, but above all they love their kids and try to do the best they can for them. Dads are not presented quite as sympathetically as the moms, sometimes coming off as clueless or uncaring, but they're present and loving to both their female partners and to their kids. Sex and violence are both toned down, but jokes can target both: three women are seen topless from the waist up as they compare their post-breastfeeding bodies, and one mom makes frequent jokes about violence, such as a fantasy she relates about a car "taking her out" as she drives. Cursing and language is infrequent, but expect to hear "f---ing," "a--hole," "goddamn," "s--t," "hell," "damn," and "t-ts." There are some jokes about "pills" a pregnant woman says she can't take, and adults drink at gatherings, but no one acts drunk. A wide variety of issues important to moms are covered in this comedy: breast pumps, childcare, after-hours demands at work, staying home with kids, and so on.
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What's the story?
After maternity leave is over, Kate (Catherine Reitman), Anne (Dani Kind), and Frankie (Juno Rinaldi) are WORKIN' MOMS, and it's not easy. Everyone around them seems to believe they can have and do it all. But with the demands of work, marriage, motherhood, and whatever shreds of personal life they have left all pulling on our heroines at the same time, it's sometimes a choice between laughing -- or crying.
Is it any good?
After a lifetime of viewing motherhood through a sentimental lens, the gritty reality of caring for kids and holding down a job is a huge surprise to the trio of women anchoring this knowing comedy. It's clear that Workin' Moms creator Catherine Reitman has been on the business end of a breast pump before, because the absurdist situations she shows us ring true: the folly of planning date night, the agony of taking business calls while pumping on a bathroom toilet, the contemptuous glares endured by any mom seen not performing her job perfectly in public. In the show's second episode, when a cadre of moms witheringly watch her handing off her son out a car window to her nanny, Reitman takes obvious gleeful pleasure in telling them to "Eat a bag of dicks!" before driving off -- it sure feels like this is the writer/director/producer's slow-burning revenge against the real-life side-eye she's no doubt received.
There's wish fulfillment too, in a scene in which the unhappily newly pregnant Anne corrects a whining kid passing by the table where she and Kate are having lunch. "Shut it, you monster!" rants Anne. "Your mother's a goddamn angel!" There are sanctimonious Pinterest moms and frazzled moms, competitive moms and exhausted moms, moms who fail and moms who triumph, and despite the heightened sitcom aspect to some of the antics (would any mom ever go into a meeting with a new client with breast milk on her shirt?), they all feel real. It's as close to a superhero drama about moms as we're likely to get, and that sure is welcome.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the struggles moms 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?
Moms and dads: Does Workin' Moms offer a realistic view of what parenthood is really like? What messages does it send about what parents (and their children) are like? Is it supposed to be realistic? Is realism ever comedic, or does comedy require that stakes and emotions be heightened?
Comedies about families are common on TV. Why? Who are they aimed at? Who can relate to them? What comedic or dramatic possibilities are offered by the interactions within a family? Does this show focus more on what's going on at home, or at work? Or is home and work given equal time?
Our editors recommend
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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