A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Best Friends Whenever is an innocuous Disney comedy about teen friends who travel through recent time revisiting favorite memories and attempting to fix experiences that didn't go as planned. In many cases, the girls disagree, but arguments never last long and their relationship usually winds up stronger for the experience. Twin brothers argue a lot, and sometimes their spats involve hitting and pushing. The story is more entertaining than it is likely to teach your kids much, but the girls' friendship always has something positive to say about overcoming differences.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In BEST FRIENDS WHENEVER, an invention mishap gives BFFs Cyd (Landry Bender) and Shelby (Lauren Taylor) the power to travel through time, allowing them to glimpse the future and repeat events with a mere thought of the past. This comes in handy whenever a do-over is in order, but it's not an exact science, so the results are unpredictable at best. As they time-hop at will (and sometimes against their will), their inventor friend Barry (Gus Kamp) attempts to replicate the accidental circumstances that gave the girls their power in the first place.
Is it any good?
Best Friends Whenever doesn't break any new ground with its fantasy-based story line, but it does offer pleasant sentiments about the unifying nature of friendship. Shelby and Cyd are polar opposites on paper, but somehow they make their relationship work. As the story develops, we see that there's no force strong enough to unravel it for long, and that's saying something given the complications time travel raises.
Disney's Crash and Bernstein alum Bender will bring some existing fans to this show. Others will enjoy the comical implications of the girls' attempts at fixing past mistakes, which usually wind up complicating the situations even more. Ultimately there's not a lot to be gained by watching, but since it's standard squeaky-clean Disney fare, there's little concern for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Cyd and Shelby's ability to travel through time solves all their problems or raises new ones. Do their attempts to fix past mistakes always make things better? What do they learn from their experiences?
Why are adults mostly absent from this series? Are any of the teenage characters good role models? If so, why?
Kids: Are you more likely to watch a new show or buy a certain product if a familiar star is involved with it? Do you think that your preferences are influenced by what you see in the media? Is this a good or a bad thing, or is it just a fact of life?
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