What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the series deals with a divorced mother's attempt to reassert herself on the dating scene. Because of that, there's a healthy dose of sexual innuendo, but you won't actually see many sexual situations -- you'll just hear about them. Along with that, there's some gateway language like "bitch" and "ass" (and even phrases like "you're his bitch" and "piece of ass"). There's some social drinking, too, in the context of going to bars or entertaining at home.
What's the story?
Divorced single mom Rebecca Thomas (Alyssa Milano) might be
ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED, but her sister, Lisa (Kelly Stables), is determined to
guide her through the dating scene, even though Rebecca hasn't been
out with anyone in more than a decade. While Lisa schools her sister on
the rules of one-night stands and such, their mutual friends, Perry (Kyle Bornheimer) and Shawn (Josh
Lawson), work out cohabitational kinks as platonic roommates.
Is it any good?
Although Romantically Challenged was created in part as a vehicle for her talents, Milano barely registers here, and it's not because she isn't good in it. It's mostly due to a flippant script that oddly ignores her character's complicated past (she's raising a son from a previous marriage and, apparently, is also a lawyer) and gives all the good one-liners to her likable co-stars. Stables, in particular, tends to run away with any scene she's in thanks to a charismatic blend of Megan Mullally and Kristin Chenoweth.
As a result, you care less about Milano's character, who's supposed to be holding it all together, and tend to notice curious details. Like the fact that we have no idea how these friends are acquainted (other than the fact that two of them are sisters), how most of them make a living or why they seem to spend all their time in a combination coffee shop/lunch spot that also serves wine. Finding romance again is challenging, but so is this comedy's half-baked premise.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the show's reliance on sex and sexual topics for humor. What messages is it sending about sex and dating? Are those messages different for women versus men? Is there any attempt to talk about safe sex?
How do you think these characters became friends in the first place? What clues do you get from the script?
Do you think Rebecca is a positive role model? Does your opinion of her change when you find out she's also the mother of a teenager?
What kinds of stereotypes about women and men are portrayed on this show? Does this show do anything to challenge stereotypes, or does it reinforce them?