Malcolm in the Middle
Usually OK—Let's see 1. The family always eats together around the table - rare on TV these days. 2. The husband is filled with desire only for his wife, and is madly in love with her. 3. The parents argue, but they resolve their conflict with each other. 4. The kids believe they are smarter than their parents, yet the parents prove they know more than the kids. 5. Even though the boys fight with one another, the family pulls together in crisis. 6. The parents try to present a united front to the children- and they do not insult or put down each other. Is the show perfect? No. Is it always appropriate for all ages? Probably not. But this show is a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood drivel.
Usually OK—I completely love this show. The family is extremely dysfunctional, but it is basically just a parody that shows that nobody really knows how to parent anyway and they're basically just winging it. The only hope parents have is looking to God for guidance, so this is sort of a funny look at the chaos parents would have to go through if they tried to do it all on their own. The main theme of the show is that in all the fighting and bickering, you see that the family really loves each other. They're just kind of…weird.
Usually OK—I'm sorry, but I love this show. It is an overly-dysfunctional family, kind of a live-action Simpsons. The boys are bad and always get caught or somehow reap what they sow. The mother makes me look at the way I talk to my children so that I won't ever be like her. And the husband is … well, he's priceless. It's not family friendly if you have small children, so we tape it and watch it later without the kids.
Avoid—This show features a chaotic family where the oldest son is sent away to military school for behavioral problems, the second oldest (Malcolm) is a genius and generally a good kid, the next child should be sent to military school with his older brother to avoid being arrested in the future, and the youngest is almost ignored. The parents are loud, unloving (most of the time) and centered on themselves and the rules “mom” shouts.
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