Children Ruin Everything — Streaming in Canada on Crave
Historically, TV dads have been the worst. Sure, there have been beacons of hope—Uncle Phil from Fresh-Prince of Bel-Air and Full House’s Danny Tanner come to mind—but overall the dads we’ve been dealt are either bumbling, cartoonish, lazy, absent, or some awful combination of all of the above.
Even worse, they’re very rarely emotionally intelligent. And they’re the bane of every mother’s existence, serving as another child for them to mind. That’s where Canada’s unexpectedly delightful comedy series Children Ruin Everything is a game changer. The eight-episode series (which has already been renewed for a second season) is currently available to stream in full on Crave. The show revolves around an average Toronto couple named Astrid (Meaghan Rath) and James (Aaron Abrams) as they hang onto every inch of sanity they have left while raising two young kids (played by Logan Nicholson and Mikayla SwamiNathan).
Everything about the show is entirely relatable. From the fingerprints on the windows and waking up in a pool of your children’s urine, to stringing together money for that week’s major repair, to dealing with grandparents who have completely different ideas on how to raise your kids.
But the one thing that really sells it is that central relationship between Astrid and James. For once, TV gets it right.
If we’ve learned anything from Mom Facebook groups over the years, it’s that most of us wish our husbands would just assess a situation and do what’s needed without being told or asked. Well, here is a husband who not only willingly shares that emotional load, but he does it like it’s second nature—just as so many of those unsung real-life husbands have also learned to do (or are trying to learn to do) in today’s co-parenting world.
James is the kind of guy who will go out of his way to plan a romantic night out for his wife when he sees she’s struggling, and he’ll also book the babysitter. If those plans fall through, he has no problem cooking up a nice meal for the whole family. He’s also the kind of guy who goes through the motions at a job he loathes so his wife can stay home with the kids (if she chooses), prefers to stay in with the family rather than heading out with the boys for poker night, and he takes time to learn about responsible parenting techniques rather than relying on his partner to research everything solo.
Oh, and here’s a big one: he’s the one in the family who whips out his phone to take all of the family photos. Can you imagine how many nice photos Astrid actually has of herself with her kids at this point?
We have creator and real-life dad Kurt Smeaton to thank for that, as well as his team of parenting experts—a.k.a. the writer’s room. Pretty much everything we see on the show is based on an actual experience, and isn’t that the way it should be when you’re making a show about the realities of adjusting to the million-plus changes that come with being a parent—mom or dad?
In 2022, it’s hard to wrap our heads around this being a new concept, but James is the emotionally intelligent character we need. Not only for those husbands that he’s actually representing, but also for those whose idea of fatherhood is still rooted in those other archaic, Archie Bunker-inspired portrayals we’ve tolerated onscreen for far too long.
Children Ruin Everything is streaming in Canada now on Crave.
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