Michael Kyle longs for a traditional life, but his day-trader wife Janet, gangsta rap-worshipping son Michael Jr., and brooding daughters Claire and Kady make his dream just that ... a dream.


Don Reo, Damon Wayans
1,265 ( 216)




5   4   3   2   1  
2005   2004   2003   2002   2001  
11 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Damon Wayans ...  Michael Kyle 123 episodes, 2000-2005
Tisha Campbell ...  Janet 'Jay' Kyle 123 episodes, 2000-2005
George Gore II ...  Michael Kyle Jr. 123 episodes, 2000-2005
Parker McKenna Posey ...  Kady Kyle 123 episodes, 2000-2005
Jennifer Freeman ...  Claire Kyle 111 episodes, 2001-2005
Noah Gray-Cabey ...  Franklin Aloysius Mumford / ... 60 episodes, 2002-2005


Damon Wayans plays Michael Kyle, a man on a tragically funny quest for a "traditional" family. He's a not-so-modern man living in a very modern world. Can you relate? His stay-at-home bride (Tisha Campbell-Martin) became a stock market trailblazer. His only son idolizes gangster rap stars instead of him. His moody, adolescent daughter's two favorite hobbies are asking him for money and giving him grief. And his youngest daughter rarely lets her daddy have the last word. Perhaps after all of the chaos is over, he will realize that his dream of having a normal American family came true a long time ago. Written by Marek Horvat

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He thinks he's the head of the family. Humor him. See more »


Comedy | Family


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The reason there were no holiday-themed episodes during the show's five seasons is due to the fact that Damon Wayans is a devout Jehovah's Witness. See more »


Michael Kyle: You getting high?
Michael Kyle, Jr.: No.
Michael Kyle: Why not?
See more »


Featured in Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Began as an admirable effort by Wayans and ultimately succumbed to lazy, absurd and out of place sitcom impulses
7 January 2006 | by liquidcelluloid-1See all my reviews

Network: ABC; Genre: Family Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-PG (for scatological humor and implied sexual content); Available: Syndication; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (5 seasons)

I was a big supporter of "My Wife and Kids" in its first season. An ABC mid-season replacement, "Kids" felt like a refreshing and real family sitcom without the obnoxious strains to be "edgy" or a slavish following of the man-child husband, nagging wife, cute kids formula that runs most CBS comedies. It was an unlikely star-vehicle turn for "In Living Color" alumni Damon Wayans.

Wayans constructs the show as a living homage to "The Cosby Show": a happy affluent African-American family with a father who spends most of his time at home, a strict but game wife, a dim-bulb son and adorable little daughter. Tisha Cambell-Martin (Janet) plays Michael (Wayans) Kyle's wife as a partner in his adventures instead of a constant adversary. The new Theo is George O. Gordon as Junior, the butt of constant jokes about the size of his head from dad, the new Rudy is the a quintessentially scene-stealing Parker McKenna Posey. "The Cosby Show" is highly regarded for a positive portrayal of its characters in the 80s when TV was seen as going down the moral tubes. "Kids" benefits from a similar swing of the pendulum and got some deserved praise for its ability to resist being smarmy in a sea of garbage.

But as the show wore on, Wayans' scatological impulses begin to overtake him. It starts with season 2's "Table for Too Many", a one-hour juggernaut where Wayans faces off with Larry Miller at a Benihana-type restaurant and the "pee pee" jokes begin to fly. A few seasons later, "Wife" makes a spectacular and unexpected leap off the ramp and over the shark when Junior actually impregnates a girl and we're supposed to believe that a character played to us as nearly mentally retarded is becoming husband and father material.

From season 2 forward the show gets lazier and lazier. The show is charming and pleasant enough – and would have been a perfect fit for all the conservative crusaders who want all TV to be about nice, happy people who nothing happens too but the show begins to stock itself more routinely with sex jokes that are less clever and less implicit. As when applied to any family sitcom, it's a little creepy.

I like that the show doesn't try to gross us out; it doesn't try to be edgy or contemporary (though there is a memorably clever "A Beautiful Mind" homage re-casting Junior in the John Nash role). Not to mention, the show has the benefit of truly wretched ABC family comedies like "Full House" and "Family Matters" still in our memories to make it look better. Wayans does everything he can with what he has and within the limits of the genre (as well as his own self-imposed constraints) and gets a few good laughs along the way, but he alone can't keep the show afloat. The "Cosby Show" comparisons are a distant memory now as "My Wife and Kids" fell into the network family sitcom rut.

* * / 4

14 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 72 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

28 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wife and Kids See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed