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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Best Worst Week Ever is a series about a group of friends who tries to sneak into a comic convention and create a memorable weekend before they start high school. The setup is classic teen comedy, but it's cleaner than parents might expect: there's no cursing, sex, drinking, or drugs. In fact, these teens are concerned not with hooking up or getting wasted, but instead with presenting ideas to their artistic hero. On the downside, the friends deceive a parent who thinks his son is going to study and get a haircut over the weekend while he's out of town instead of throwing a big party; they're also unkind to a quirky girl and use her for her perks (she can drive). But the characters learn from their mistakes, make amends, and do better next time. The cast boasts ethnic and racial diversity, as well as some diversity in body type, rare in shows about teens. Violence may be a bit more intense than can be expected: guards are shot with arrows that protrude from their bodies as they cry out in pain; a girl rolls down a long set of stairs while playing a game.
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What's the story?
Summer is almost over. High school starts Monday. And in between, for Zed (Sam Ashe Arnold) and his best friends Treece (Brianna Reed) and Argo (Cole Sand), lies the BEST WORST WEEKEND EVER. A comic con is finally happening in their tiny town, and their icon, the author of the comics series "Star Crashers" is going to be there. But through a series of misadventures, none of the friends can get into the con. Can they get inside, meet their idol, keep their parents happy, and have the greatest weekend of their lives, all at the same time? Or is this weekend doomed to failure and misery?
Is it any good?
As lovable and occasionally awkward as teenagers themselves, this zippy series is like a clean-enough-for-tweens version of cinematic high school comedy capers like Superbad or Sixteen Candles. The setup is a familiar one: the adults are distracted, a major milestone looms, and the young cast has only a limited period of time to make something happen. The switch up here is that the "something" is meeting a literary/cultural icon instead of hooking up and/or falling in love -- these teens are so squeaky clean that there's not a red Solo cup'd beverage in sight at the big parents-out-of-town house party that anchors the first episode, and when they get together feverishly in corners, it's to talk about comic books, not to kiss.
There's also a sweetness that grounds the manic hijinks with a missing dog, costumed comics fans, and a pinata full of shrimp. That sweetness is crystallized in the second episode of Best Worst Week Ever when Zed explains in a voiceover that he became a fan of comic books after his dad died. Alone, his family in tatters, Zed's comics were his only friends, and he was reading one the day at the park when a couple of other kids noticed. They started a conversation with him, he shared his comic series with them, and they soon became, as Zed says, his new family. It's a line that will floor anyone who's felt alone but was able to connect to others through a fandom, through art doing the job it's meant to do. And the fact that it's in a silly kid's comedy is surprising -- and beautiful. This lightweight little show is deeper than it seems; help your kids discover it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why comedies set in or around high schools are so popular. Why does high school loom so large in the imaginations of those who write about teens? What's different, scary, or funny about high school? Does high school look or feel real when you see it on TV or in the movies?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.