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American Princess

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
American Princess TV Poster Image
Quirky characters, empathy, acceptance in fun, edgy comedy.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Messages of courage, acceptance, and empathy are clear, with characters choosing to live authentic lives that make them happy, even if others disapprove. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters at first seem like stereotypes -- the simple-minded beggar, the imperious queen -- but emerge as recognizable humans with foibles and dreams. Quirky passions and habits are displayed, and appreciate by others. Friends are supportive and loving, even if family members don't always have best interests at heart. The cast boasts moderate racial and ethnic diversity (but most main characters are white). 

Violence

Violent content is played for laughs: a furious character pushes another, who hits her head and then coughs up a spout of blood onto a white dress. Later we hear that the woman bit off and swallowed part of her own tongue.

Sex

Sexual content can be a notch more explicit than one might expect from a basic cable show: a man is shown nude from the rear with a woman in front of him on her knees, clearly performing oral sex. We later hear a character referring to his "blowjob." In another scene, a woman who passed out and spent the night in a man's cabin asks if they had sex; the man replies that "date rape" is something he's not into. 

Language

Language includes "f--k," 'bitch," "s--t," "a--hole," "dick" (meaning a jerk), a woman is referred to as a "hooker" (it's unclear if she's actually a sex worker and she seems dismayed by the assertion). 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine and cocktails at gatherings; woman makes a reference to taking "edibles" (marijuana). A character offers others a "mystery pill from the bottom of my purse," they enthusiastically accept. Drinking is frequent at the Renaissance festival, where people drink beer, mead, liquor they call "the devil's brew," and so on. Characters get drunk and sloppy, say stupid things, suffer from hangovers, make mistakes they must apologize for the next day. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that American Princess is a comedy about a woman who abandons her upscale life to work for a renaissance faire. Sexual content is more mature than one might expect: a woman walks in on her fiance with another woman on her knees in front of him; the man is nude from the rear and moaning. Later the woman refers to her fiance getting a "blowjob." The woman performing oral sex is called "hooker" numerous times (it's unclear if she's actually a sex worker). A more progressive scene shows a woman who wakes up after passing out in a man's cabin; she asks if they had sex, he affirms that he's not interested in "date rape." Violence is comic, but also mature: a woman pushes another, that woman hits her head, coughs up blood, and we later hear that she bit off and swallowed part of her tongue. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "assh--e," "bitch," and "dick." Adults drink, get drunk, suffer from hangovers and make big mistakes while drinking; there are also references to "edibles" and "mystery pills." Characters are portrayed first as stereotypical weirdoes, but emerge as quirky yet lovable, and themes of tolerance, acceptance, the importance of living an authentic life, and empathy are clear. 

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What's the story?

AMERICAN PRINCESS Amanda Klein (Georgia Flood) didn't plan to walk out on her own expensive theme wedding. But when she catches her fiance cheating flagrantly, she stumbles into a nearby renaissance faire -- and quickly realizes that the kooky but kind people she meets there feel more like family to her than her blood relatives. Taken under the wings of "rennie" regulars David/Sir Humps-a-Lot (Lucas Neff), Delilah (Mary Hollis Inboden), Stick (Lucas Hazlett) and a crowd of their colorful friends, Amanda quickly learns that her perfect world might just include a campfire and flagons of mead. 

Is it any good?

With an appealingly weird high-concept premise and sweet messages of acceptance, this fun show should score with viewers who appreciate a lot of quirk with their comedy. When Amanda first stumbles into the ren faire in American Princess, she thinks she may have landed in some immersive theme wedding, and just wants to find her phone so she can get out of there. But by the time she's spent a few hours at the fairgrounds, she starts to appreciate that the people around her may be unusual and have hard-to-understand hobbies, but they're also sweet, and helpful -- and willing to accept the newbie in their midst. 

In fact, what Amanda soon realizes is that she's been papering over her own eccentricities. She may look like a spoiled brat, but her work writing about the "upscale lifestyle," her money and privilege, her show-offy fake friends never made her happy the way the weirdos at the ren faire do when they wholeheartedly throw themselves into their passions. Played by a relatable Georgia Flood -- whose go-for-broke comic timing may remind some of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom -- it's a delight to see Amanda unwinding and getting into the spirit of the faire, and throwing herself into a more authentic life. She's as easy to love as this show, and that's saying something. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why television shows are frequently set within a world with lots of characters: an office, a club, a renaissance faire. What dramatic or comedic possibilities do such settings offer? Why would an abundance of characters make a show easier to write? 

  • Why do television shows often rely on stereotypes to tell a story or for humor? What kinds of messages do they send about the world and the people in it? 

  • How does Amanda's quest to find a more authentic life demonstrate courage in American Princess? How does she show empathy for the people she meets at the ren faire? Why are these important character strengths

TV details

Character Strengths

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