It’s funny how a simple TV show title can elicit an immediate response. I recently received an email from a reader who was outraged at CTV’s newest comedy, Children Ruin Everything, because of its name.
Debuting Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, Children Ruin Everything uses that sly—and, for some, a hot-button topic—name as a jumping-off point for laughs. Created and executive produced by Kurt Smeaton (Schitt’s Creek, What Would Sal Do?) the show posits not so much whether a young couple’s lives are ruined by having kids as it is how their lives are changed because of them.
“I’ve got three kids,” Smeaton says. “I was reading these studies on happiness and how people without kids were way happier than people with kids. I felt offended, but also kind of seen, and the inspiration for this was a counterargument. Yeah, these articles make a lot of great points, but there is another part of it they’re not getting at. It’s not necessarily about happiness. Raising a family and kids is so funny and unpredictable and really fulfilling.”
The couple at the heart of Children Ruin Everything are Astrid (Meaghan Rath) and James (Aaron Abrams), who are juggling work, going back to work, in-laws and friends when you have kids in your life. The debut episode “Meals” caused me not only to cackle but nod my head in understanding. After four years of being a stay-at-home mom, Astrid is ready to return to work, so she and James decide to mark the occasion with a celebratory dinner with their kids, Felix (Logan Nicholson) and Viv (Mikayla SwamiNathan). What happens next—dismissed food, short attention spans, frustration and broken glass—is totally relatable. I’ve experienced this before, and seeing another couple deal with it made me feel better about my own step-parenting decisions.
Outside of the home is more hilarity, thanks to supporting cast in Ennis Esmer (Private Eyes), Lisa Codrington (Letterkenny), Nazneen Contractor (Ransom) and Veena Sood (The Indian Detective).
Upcoming storylines delve into road trips, death and space (or lack thereof), bodies and how they change, with a story arc that wonders if Astrid and James should have another child.
“We try to keep the themes and stories fairly simple because it doesn’t take a lot to initiate a story and have these characters go,” Smeaton says.
Children Ruin Everything airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.