Hey TV.com, Should I Watch How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)?


A quirky, non-traditional family works together to raise a precocious child with some help from their off-beat friends, including awkward co-workers and non-threatening exes. Sounds a lot like Raising Hope or The New Normal or the late Ben and Kate, all of which have obviously influenced ABC's new midseason comedy How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), right down to the sexual grandmas (and great-grandmas) and the indulgent (usually-in-a-good-way-but-sometimes-in-a-creepy-way) parents.

Single parents navigating the waters of child-rearing with a little backup from their zany families and friendlies aren't anything new to television, but unlike police procedurals and Grey's Anatomy wannabes, I don't think we can necessarily have too many of them because, you know, different strokes and all that. But how will this one measure up? I've seen the pilot and I'm ready to tell you just that.

Obnoxious title aside (we'll get to that in a few), what's HTLWYPFTROYL about? 

Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke plays Polly, an uptight mom who left her lovable loser husband Julian (Jon Dore of The Jon Dore Television Show) to move back in with her free spirit parents, Elaine and Max (Weeds' Elizabeth Perkins Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett, respectively). Along for the ride are Polly's scared-of-everything daughter, Natalie (relative newcomer Rachel Eggleston), and Polly's twenty-something co-worker/bestie, Jenn (Friday Night Lights' Stephanie Hunt). Polly wants to be a better mother to Natalie than Elaine was to her, but the debate over what actually makes a good mother is one of those debates that is clearly meant to be a theme of the show.


Who decided that a series with a title that's harder to remember when it's shortened was a good idea?

Claudia Lonow, primarily known as Diana Fairgate on Knots Landing, but who also claims producing credits on Less Than Perfect and Cashmere Mafia, created the series and serves as an executive producer alongside Brian Grazer (Arrested Development, 24, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Francie Calfo (The Playboy Club, Scoundrels).

When does HTLWYPFTROYL air?

Wednesdays at 9:30pm, starting April 3 on ABC.



Will I like HTLWYPFTROYL?

If you like Raising Hope, you might like How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life). It's the latest in a long line of goofy-but-has-a-heart sitcoms about an entire village of oddballs getting together to raise a cute kid. Weeds fans will definitely see flashes of Celia in Perkins' Elaine. Chalke's Polly is basically Elliot with a kid. There are raunchy lines combined with situations to accommodate your saccharine family moments, so it's not a complete cheese-fest. It's just one of those shows that if you like that sort of show, then you'll probably like it. If quirky family sitcoms make you want to scream, I'd spare your vocal chords and steer clear.

What's good about HTLWYPFTROYL?

The casting is solid, boasting a strong ensemble of comedy and dramedy veterans, so chemistry, delivery, and all the other good things that make a cast fun to watch aren't really an issue. The writing (at least in the first episode) is strong. Everybody is pretty lovable, including the supposedly horrific parents Polly moves back in with. The pilot balances funny sitcom stuff with the heavier family themes pretty well. If the show can maintain that balance, I think How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) might eventually overcome its awful, cringey title. Or maybe the title will work in the show's favor; I went in expecting crap and was pleasantly surprised to get something better.


What's bad about HTLWYPFTROYL (other than the title)?

No, actually we need to talk about the title because the mouthful is so ridiculous and cumbersome that I think it could easily repel potential viewers with its impressive ridiculousness. How to Live With Your Parents alone might have sufficed, and honestly, that's what I personally call it when I'm not trying to masochistically sound out something resembling a word when forced to resort to an acronym that looks like it might actually be the name of some sort of new pharmaceutical drug. But even How to Live With Your Parents on it's own doesn't fully convey what the show is about. It's not about a grumpy teenager who rebels against her curfew and cries because Daddy didn't buy her an iPhone 5 as soon as it came out. It's not about twenty-something recent grads forced to bunk in Mom's basement because the job market blows and, in retrospect, majoring in Napoleonic French history with a concentration in poetry and a minor in Sociology probably wasn't the wisest career move.

There are also visual references that pop up throughout the pilot in the form of arrows pointing to new faces, with nifty introductions and explanations of who they are and what they do. Personally, I think they're a cute way to avoid getting bogged down in exposition, but I can see how they might get annoying in the long run (if they last). The shortcut can also be frustrating if you're not the type of viewer who parks it on the sofa and doesn't move for the entire duration of an episode since they kind of require you to, you know, pay attention.

And finally, I don't know how long Polly's anal-retentive, clingy, helicopter parenting can go on before it turns her into "the annoying one" in the cast. 

Do you recommend watching HTLWYPFTROYL?

I'd give it a shot. I've only seen the pilot, so I can't vouch for long-term enjoyment, but I enjoyed the pilot. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking here, but it's a seems like an enjoyable series if you like types of shows it's descended from.

Where can I sample this hellish acronym action for myself?

There are some clips on Hulu, and here's a trailer: 



What beverages should I have on hand if I decide to tune in to HTLWYPFTROYL?

Elaine suggests a morning tequila and Max claims that the blue pills are the fun ones. I would stick to one or the other unless, you decide halfway through that you don't want to remember what you're watching.

How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) premieres Wednesday, April 3 at 9:30pm on ABC.

Comments (69)
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Made it through 10 minutes of the pilot. Worst thing I've seen on TV in a very long time. Just. Not. Funny.
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Not sure why people stay focused on titles so much. "A rose by any other name is still a rose." and "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Titles are slightly important, but the title should not be a decision on whether or not you watch something.

In my youth I did judge by a title. Back when "Angel" was on I thought it was a religious show. I avoided knowing anything about it until a friend explained to me that it was Angel from Buffy.

So, while talking about it's long title is giving it extra publicity, just stop thinking of it as a bad thing right off the bat. Give the show some episodes to stretch it's legs (I give about 5 30 min episodes) and then decide if it's worth it. Just tired of reading people not giving the show a chance (first episode was better than other pilot's I've seen) because they don't like that the title is too long.
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I've got to say that I won't be checking out this show. I tried to watch Raising Hope last year, and I couldn't get past episode 7. I love comedy shows, but I'm just too picky when it comes to finding an appealing one.
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Although I'm not keen in the slightest for this I'll watch it anyway purely because I miss Sarah Chalke being on my TV. Golly I miss Scrubs.
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HEY TV.COM - I would rather know about the other new show premiering tonight. Should I watch DirecTV Audience Network's first original scripted drama "Rogue" starring Thandie Newton. Looks a tad better than this fluff.
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Granted, the title for "Don't trust the b---- in apartment 23" is a little on the long side to, but it wasn't THAT long. 7 or 8 words, depending on how you count "23"

I guess the title "How to live with your parents (for the rest of your life)" is worth a chuckle. The bit in the parenthesis is kind of key to the chuck... but that's what puts it into the "too long" range.

For a novel? Sure. For a film? OK. But for a TV show it's pushing it a bit.

I'll give it a shot though.
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Uh oh..Another comedy with no live audience. That usually means it's not funny.
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If a show needs a laughing track to tell you when to laugh then either the show isn't funny or you're a robot.
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I find it pretty sad when people need a laugh track to tell them when something is funny. I much prefer the ones without.
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I grew up when ALL tv comedies were filmed in front of a studio audience, and even today, these shows tend to be funnier than those who have no audience. It's got nothing to do with a laugh track. And why on earth would you think by my comment that I need a laugh track to tell me when something's funny? That's a moronic statement. My comment simply means that comedies with no audience, to me, don't tend to be that funny. Just a coincidence?...maybe. Two Broke Girls is my favourite comedy and it is filmed in front of a studio audience. I find it hilarious and chances are if it was done without an audience, I'd still find it hilarious.
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On one hand, Sarah Chalke (love her) and Brad Garret (he's hilarious)

On the other hand, the concept doesn't sound THAT different from other stuff out there.

So, I don't know. I'll probably give it a chance on the two leads alone.
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I'll watch it because of Sarah Chalke, always loved her ^^
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She's come a long way since "other Becky", hasn't she?
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So not a fan of Sarah Chalke (though i loved Scrubs), but i'll tune in just for Brad Garret.
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I will give it a try, but I think it won´t be my type of comedy....
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What a name!!
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Claudia Lonow also created ' rude awakenings' with Sherilyn Fenn. I loved that show! I keep hopint to see reruns but apparently it's not going to happen!
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Is there a laugh track? If so, no go.
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Exactly how far is Brad Garrett going to fall? Til Death has had drastic effects on his career. If only he would have gotten his Raymond spinoff years ago like he was supposed to, things would be dramatically different and he wouldn't have to stoop this low.
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The title is very cringe worthy. I guess I'll just wing it. If I decide I feel like watching, I'll take a look. If not, oh well.
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I'm watching the pilot, I'm hoping that it's better than Suburgatory and Happy Endings (although watching Hillbilly Handfishing would be better than watching Happy Endings, and that show is nonsense).
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"Happy Endings" is the funniest show ABC has, and that's INCLUDING "Gray's Anatomy"
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you dont like happy endings? :|
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I tried watching an episode and it was irritating and unfunny. Sorry, just couldn't get in to it.
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No harm in watching the pilot and seeing how it turns out
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Sarah Chalke (Becky Connnor! Stella Zinnman!) and Elizabeth Perkins (Celia!!) are enough reason for me to give it a try.
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I'm kind of on the fence, but I will probably watch with relatively low expectations. I do think it looks like it has the potential to be funny, but we'll just wait and see.
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Huh. I like Sarah Chalke. I like Raising Hope. Not really feeling the trailer. Let me know how it turns out after the 4-episode test.
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How it is compared to The Middle? I stopped watching that after season 1 because even though I liked the show and characters, it just got repetitive to me. Is this funnier?
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YAAAWWWNNN fest, soz but not a massive Sarah Chalke fan (although i do like Elizabeth Perkins) n what's his face from Raymond just dear god no! If the dire The New Normal is anything 2 go by......well enough said. Oh and please don't compare the genius that is Raising Hope to this (or any other) form of drivel like this.
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Definately going to watch this show. I am very excited for it.
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I could use some tips.
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I'll stick with Raising Hope, thanks,
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It's done for the year. They already ran their Mother's Day ep.
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I feel like I just read so much information and none of it actually helped me make a decision because it's basically detailing what I already was on the fence about with this show. So um... good job! I'm voting "yes" but 4/10 says I forget to put it in the DVR or if I do that I erase it without watching.
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I like Sarah Chalke, but after the her, biggs, labine and greer show not long ago I think people here are giving her too much credit. I'll likely give it a shot if for no other reason than I may be losing an untold number of shows when cancellations are announced.
a question though, you said there were some raunchy lines. I guess you probably can't give an example? raunchy doesn't go over well with my family.
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They swear on this site. Really? No shit! Well fuckin' a! Now all we need is MaryAnn giving examples. I bet they won't have any swearing though because it's ABC and not HBO... goddamnit.
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There was something in the trailer. It was bleeped of course.
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No way, Jose.They should not even ridicule themselves by airing it. Sarah Chalke should not be given anything beyond supporting roles.When series like these are left loose into the world, one really questions the sanity and employment of most TV executives.
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I am not even going to give this a shot. I rather poke my eyes out with needles then watch this crap.
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I will watch the pilot and give it a chance. But I personally don't see this show going past the 13 episode half season order. I will say it'll be cancelled before it has aired 5 (if it goes that far) episodes. I believe ABC will have another cancellation on it's hands soon. ABC just can't seem to find anything decent to fill it's schedule.
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This doesn't have a prayer. The last sitcom that ABC premiered in April was Surviving Suburbia (back in '09). It aired all 13 episodes, but I doubt this series will make it that far.

Who approved that ridiculous title, anyway?
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Happy Endings premiered in April, 2011.
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Oh yeah... lol. I guess it's obvious I don't watch that show. Too bad it's on life support at the moment.
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Huge fan of scrubs so I have no choice but to give this show a shot.
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Staff
HTLWYPFTROYL, an SEO person's nightmare.
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Right up there with "Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23". Glad I don't have to advertise these shows.
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It looks pretty dumb but I'll may give it a shot it does hoave good characters.
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Never saw Scrubs so not sure about lead - though appears fun in what interviews seen in. Garret has the likable slightly on the edge quality and Perkins was great in Weeds as Ms. Acerbic. So I'll give it a whirl.
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this show and the one coming out next month with scott foley are the ones i;m looking forward to, cause as you said, tv could really use more shows about families right now, as opposed to shows about policemen, lawyers, or people trying to be famous (and not reality shows: scripted shows where the characters wanna be famous grates on my last nerve). shows where they acknowledge a kid has parents, that i will take
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I love Sarah, the idea of Elliot with a kid is a pretty hilarious concept so I may just have to check it out even though I hate sitcoms
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i just heard it got cancelled ... oh wait that will be two/three episode from now
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Is it a 2012/2013 midseason premiere? Then it's dead. This has been the midseason of carnage, THE MIDSEASONING!
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When you think of this year's cancellations, and keepers (Chicago Fire, every family comedy/dramedy under the sun) that's less than likely.
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I'll check it out. I like the cast.
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I think I'm going to give it a shot, if only for Sarah Chalke. I don't expect a lot so we'll see.
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because sarah chalke.
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I kinda love the cast. I kinda dislike the premise. I really hate the name.

I'm gonna pass.
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What he said.
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All I needed to hear.
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I have a dilemma on my hands... Being a Scrubs fan, I would normally give any show involving Sarah Chalke a shot, but being a Happy Endings fan I feel like boycotting all of ABC's shows except HE.
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I really don't know. On the one hand, as it is in Suburgatory's spot, I have DVR time. But, I am a little eh on sitcoms that try to have heart right from the get go. But on a third hand, I love this cast. I might let it join Orphan Black as a set aside show to catch up on Sunday afternoon (Orphan Black makes me nervous for some reason).
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OH MY GOD - YOU HAVE 3 HANDS!!! - runs out of room screaming
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I have four, just couldn't think of another reason...
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4 HANDS!!!!! - passes out from being so freaked out
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A clown frightened by freaks? What the squirty flower's going on?!
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Well, don't worry, with the multiple hands, I can catch you!
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