Show summary: Life With Boys is a Canadian teen sitcom that started broadcasting in Canada on YTV. It follows Tess Foster as she copes with living in a home with just boys: her father, Jack, and three brothers, Gabe, Spencer and Sam. With the help of her best friend, Allie she pulls through.
Life With Boys is a funny, witty and charming show for audiences of all ages. Unlike most shows aimed at the tween age group there is no over exaggerated plot points, the characters don’t scream and shout at each other for no reason.The shows comedy elements always make me laugh and the one liners from each of the characters range from making me chuckle to laughing out loud. Again the show doesn’t rely on screaming and shouting for laughs. The arguments between the four siblings are hilarious and some extremely funny lines come out in these moments.There is toilet humor in the show, however this is very minimal with a small amount of fart jokes and use of the word ‘Butt’. There is the use of a made up word 'Shming’ in the show with substitutes for actual swearing in one episode, which unlike other shows aimed for the age group is much more appropriate than using words like 'Skunkbag’.
This is also the first show I have seen since the days of 'Saved By The Bell’, despite that being aimed at an older age group, to actually deal with some issues teenagers face. These issues range from the minor, sharing one bathroom to fighting over a girl/boy to the more major, pressures of being popular and cool to smoking. A whole episode deals with the issue of becoming popular by smoking and it come across very well and remains funny throughout. Said episode is also handled very well, we see the cigarettes in the hands of several of the characters, but never see them smoke, tho it is implied they have. The fact that this show deals with issues like smoking, rather than possibly going to space is one I personally really appreciate.
Cast: The main cast is composed of Torri Webster, Madison Pettis, Nathan McLeod, Michael Murphy, Jake Goodman and Sandy Jobin-Bevans.
The cast (Taking into account this review being based on season one) are all young, (not counting Sandy Jobin-Bevans) and range from ages 8-16. For a cast this young there is a lot of talent and has near flawless performances.
Torri Webster: An all around great actress. Torri delivers her lines well and convincingly, which should be expected from the lead role in the show. Like every other actor in the show, she gets the facial expressions spot on everytime.
Madison Pettis: Gives a decent performance but when her acting level drops it is very noticeable and this seems to change from episode to episode. However, in Madison’s defense this 'drop’ may be due to how her character, Allie, is suppose to be portrayed rather than her actual acting.
Nathan McLeod: Along with Jake (see below) delivers a great performance every time and is no doubt one of the best actors on the show. Nathan plays the role of 'Gabe' extremely well and convincingly.
Michael Murphy: Gives a great performance 97% of time, but there are times when a drop in his acting ability is slightly noticeable. Overall still a very talented actor that plays his character very well.
Jake Goodman: Again like Nathan delivers a great performance every time and is on the same level as Nathan. Which is very surprising considering the age difference of 8 years. A very talented young actor.
Sandy Jobin-Bevans: An overall good performance from Sandy and gets the roll of the embarrassing dad down pretty well. You could say his acting isn’t always great but it fits in with the roll of ’embarrassing dad’. Being the oldest main cast member he does a great job.
The whole cast seems to have great chemistry with each other on set, which really makes you believe they are an actual family.
Characters: Tess Foster (Torri Webster) is 13 years old and the only girl in a house of all boys. She is the only girl on her school’s all boys wrestling team, and sometimes deals with what comes with that. Tess is a funny and very energetic character, despite making mistakes and sometimes making certain situations worse she means well. Her facial expressions are hilarious. Overall I’d say Tess is a great character and a good role model, as she always tries to do whats right, at least in the end anyway.
Allie Brooks (Madison Pettis) is Tess’ best friend, a bright and popular cheerleader who loves fashion and is typical girlie girl. Allie isn’t so much a bad character as she is an annoying one. She seems to be too self obsessed with her looks and for a 14 year old, wears a hell of a lot of make up and high price clothes (But hey, those are the times we live in). Despite the fact she can be annoying, Allie is still a very enjoyable character.
Gabriel “Gabe” Foster (Nathan McLeod) is Tess’ 17-year-old brother and the oldest of the Foster siblings and knows how to get his way. Gabe is one of the stereotypical boy heartthrobs of high school who is kind of a player when it comes to girls, since he usually dates more than one girl at a time. Yes Gabe is a cliche character and we all know one in real life, but Gabe is still a very enjoyable character to watch. From his self obsession to how he manages to always get his own way. A hilarious character all around and one that always provides a laugh.
Samuel Joseph “Sam” Foster (Michael Murphy) is Tess’ twin brother. He is considered a nerd by many of the characters. Sam has a crush on Allie, but his efforts to win her heart always end in rejection. Again, like Allie, a bit of an annoying character in the way he goes on trying to get the attention of girls, but still one that provides a laugh.
Spencer Foster (Jake Goodman) is Tess’ youngest brother. He is an eight year old, precocious scary-smart, and uses these tools to his advantage. Again like Gabe, Spencer is a character that always provides laughs and makes me smile with pretty much anything he does. From his scary-smarts to his cute boyish charm, Spencer is a great and lovable character.
Jack David Foster (Sandy Jobin-Bevans) is Tess, Gabe, Spencer and Sam ’s dad and is also the gym teacher at the high school. He can be a bit overprotective of his family, but he struggles the most with Tess. He is a single dad, as his wife has passed away. A good, funny character that struggles with his kids but manages to pull through. All around good character on the show.
Final thoughts: The three boys Gabe, Sam and Spencer over all together steal the show and adds a lot to its charm. Unlike most shows for the age group it does the opposite and has more boys than girls. Overall Life With Boys is an amazingly funny, charming show with some good role models and morals that never fails to make me smile and laugh with every episode.
Score: Despite some minor flaws I still give Life With Boys 10 out of 10