It May Win the Longest TV Title Award, but is “How To Live With Your Parents…” LOL Funny?


A Review of the ABC Sitcom “How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” by Tiffany A. White

We’ve all wondered it at least once since leaving home, whether it be for college, or marriage, or just because… what would we do if we had no choice but to move back in with our parents as an adult?

In How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), Polly (Sarah Chalke from Roseanne and Scrubs) has no choice but to move back in with her parents after her divorce. But after six months, she worries she’s stuck there forever with her mother (Elaine, played by Elizabeth Perkins from Big and Weeds) and her step-father (Max, played by Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond). To make matters worse, she’s plagued by the ex-husband who just won’t go away (of course).

This sitcom really has a sweet family dynamic—everyone wants to be there for each other, regardless of “how” they express their love and support. For example, the granddaughter is scared of dogs… so her grandparents take her to a dog shelter to help her face her fears. In retrospect, this may not have been the best method, but their hearts are in the right place. Bottom line, everyone in the family makes each other a better person (even where the ex-husband is concerned).

But mostly the show is about Polly (Chalke) and her growth post-divorce. Since leaving her husband, she’s projected most of her fears onto her daughter… to make herself feel better. Her daughter isn’t really scared of dogs; Polly is. Her daughter isn’t afraid to sleep alone; Polly is. And her daughter doesn’t mind if Polly wants to date other men; Polly is scared to date other men. And as bizarre and as quirky and as “not normal” as Polly’s parents are, they’re giving her the freedom to figure all of this out on her own… which, as we all know, is the only way to learn.

Besides having the longest TV title EVER, did the new comedy make me laugh-out-loud? Because when it comes to sitcoms, laughing is an absolute must as far as I’m concerned…

Well, the casting is great. Sarah Chalke is adorable and has great comedic timing, especially with her facial expressions and her “Marty Kahn-like” moments with the audience when she looks directly into the camera (random example I know, but the out-of-character-camera-moments with the audience is the exact same as Marty Kahn’s character from Showtime’s House of Lies AND I love ‘em). And speaking of adorable, that little Rachel Eggleston (Natalie, Polly’s daughter) is absolutely precious!!

And then we have Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett…

Elizabeth Perkins’s character (Elaine, Polly’s mother) is honest, uncensored, and unfiltered. She’s full of love and lives carefree… and Perkins nails it. As expected, Brad Garrett’s character (Max, Polly’s stepfather) has Mr. Garrett’s dry tone and hilarious delivery… enough said, right? Together, these two steal the show.

But is HTLWYPFTROYL laugh-out-loud funny? Eh… more so than 1600 Penn, for sure. But not as much as New Girl. I did smile a lot, so I will definitely watch it again and I have a feeling the laughter will come.


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

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