What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Raising Whitley is a reality series that sends lots of positive messages about parenthood and family, and the importance of having a circle of friends around you. However, many of the show's themes are geared towards mature viewers, and some of its content, like strong language and the sexual innuendo in some of Whitley's stand up routines, might be a bit much for tweens and teens.
What's the story?
RAISING WHITLEY stars comedian and Animal Practice cast member Kym Whitley as she faces major changes in her adult life. After suddenly being asked to adopt a child born to a former mentoree, Whitley is now a mother to baby Joshua. It's a happy time, but one that is marred by the sudden death of her own mother and the cancelation of her sitcom. Now unemployed and grieving, she's relying on "the Village," a tight circle of friends including Rodney Van Johnson (who has chosen to act as Joshua's dad), flamboyant friend Wendell James, her assistant Harold Bell, her trainer and friend Sam Wilson, her lawyer Demetrius, and others, to help her along the way. It isn't easy, but Whitley uses her trademark humor to support herself and her son while getting through the tough times.
Is it any good?
The heartwarming Raising Whitley shows how a woman who was recently enjoying a single life at the height of her career is adapting to some major life changes while trying to find work in a competitive and unforgiving industry. It also shows how being a single parent can be extremely challenging, even when you have a large social circle to help.
There are lots of voyeuristic reality moments, especially when Whitley interacts with some of the big personalities in her circle. The show is full of positive messages, too. But what makes the show entertaining is the comedienne's ability to use humor to discuss what is happening to her, as well as to help her stay positive during difficult times.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the different ways that families are portrayed in the media. How have media images of what a family looks like changed over the years? Do you think shows like this one offer a realistic look at single parenting? Or is much being staged for the cameras?
Why do you think Whitley agreed to be in this show? What does she stand to gain or lose by doing it?