Set in the present day with flashbacks to the 1990s, the comedy revolves around outgoing middle schooler Sydney Reynolds who lives with her single dad Max in the house he grew up in, along with her progressive grandmother Judy - three generations under one roof.
As Sydney's preteen pursuits begin to expand with unexpected and funny twists, Max tries to get a better sense of the guidance, perspective and support she needs. Grandma, full of both parental wisdom and wisecracks, has a razor-sharp memory that proves Max's own teenage antics parallel Sydney's. Flashback scenes to a young Max and his best friend Leo juxtapose the funny predicaments invented by Sydney and her vivacious friend Olive.
The series premiered on January 25th, 2019. It was renewed for a second season on May 23rd.
Sydney to the Max contains examples of:
- The '90s: The decade in which Max grew up in. The series often features flashbacks to the 1990s.
- Age Cut: Sometimes used on Max when the episode transitions to (and sometimes from) the flashbacks, combined with Match Cut.
- Black Best Friend: In the flashbacks, Leo is this to Max.
- Cool Old Lady: Sydney's grandmother, Judy, is said to be hip and progressive. Max often has to rely on her in order to better understand Sydney.
- Drop-In Character: Olive, who constantly spends time at Sydney's house because of the chaos her four brothers cause.
- Flash Back: The series features flashbacks to the '90s, when Max was a kid.
- Flash Back Echo: The show's flashbacks with Max parallel what's happening with Sydney in the present. For example, in "Can't Dye This", Sydney tries to rebel against Max and dye her hair, while in the flashback, Max tries to rebel against his mom and bleach his hair so he can join a skateboarding gang.
- Good-Times Montage: One occurs in "Who Let The Dogs In" as young Max spends time with his pet turtle Hawk.
- Hypocrite: In the first episode Judy called Max unreasonable for not letting Sydney dye her hair. The flashbacks show Judy not letting Max dye his hair when he was Sydney's age.
- Like Father, Like Daughter: The main point of the series revolves around this trope, as it's meant to highlight just how similar Max's daughter is to him.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is a pun on a '90s movie or song.
- Missing Mom: Sydney's mother passed away five years prior to the show.
- My Hair Came Out Green: In "Can't Dye This", Sydney tries to dye her hair and it comes out rainbow-colored. In the episode's flashback, Max tries to bleach his hair and it comes out red.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe. In "Can't Dye This", Max accidentally kisses a student instead of Sydney. Olive keeps reminding him of it by sending him GIFs of the incident.
- Overprotective Dad: Max is said to be overprotective and doting to Sydney.
- Salt and Pepper: Max and Leo. As an inverse of the stereotypes, it's Leo who is the uptight one and Max who is the rebellious one.
- Shout-Out: Being a series that involves flashbacks to the '90s, there's a good amount of '90s references in the episode titles:
- "Can't Dye This" - "U Can't Touch This".
- "Who Let the Dogs In" - "Who Let The Dogs Out?"
- "The Parent Track" - The Parent Trap.
- "The Lyin' King" - The Lion King.
- "Caved and Confused" - Dazed and Confused.
- "Can't Hardly Date" - Can't Hardly Wait.
- "There's Something About Zach" - There's Something About Mary.
- "Nuthin' but a Dance Thang" - "Nuthin' but a 'G 'Thang".
- "Never Been Pierced" - Never Been Kissed.
- "Mo' Grandmas, Mo' Problems" - "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems".
- "I Know What You Did Last Sleepover" - I Know What You Did Last Summer.
- "Good Grade Hunting" - Good Will Hunting.
- "Adventures in Babe-sitting" - Adventures in Babysitting.
- "You've Got Female" - You've Got Mail.
- In "Can't Dye This", Young Max is shown wearing a Nirvana shirt. And he says that his mom went to see Home Alone.
- Strictly Formula: Every episode follows a similar plot: Sydney wants to do something but Max declines, but she proceeds to do so anyway behind his back. Flashbacks to Maxs childhood in 1992 show he had the same situations as Sydney did with similar results. When Max out Sydney disobeyed, he explains about the same problem from his childhood and the two make up with each other.
- Very Special Episode: "You've Got Female" is one about women's rights.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Leo has yet to appear as an adult in present day, but where he is now remains to be seen.
- You Are Grounded: In the first episode, Max tells Sydney shes grounded after catching her dying her hair behind his back.