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 this sitcom is about middle-aged female college students who place more importance on an active social life than academics. Behavior often associated with college dorm life -- including drinking, sex, and substance abuse -- is central to the show. Parents also need to know that while the show isn't ultimately malicious or mean-spirited, it often pokes fun at sensitive issues like race, religion and the physical and mental disabilities.
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What's the story?
CAMPUS LADIES is an improvisational-style sitcom (produced by fellow Groundlings alum Cheryl Hines) that follows the misadventures of middle-aged college co-eds Joan Beamin (Carrie Aizley) and Barri Martin (Christen Sussin) as they experience the wild side of campus life. Life-long friends Joan and Barri were suburban housewives until Joan was abruptly widowed and Barri walked in on her husband with another woman. In their forties, no longer married, and dissatisfied with their lives, they decide to exchange their domesticity for dorms and enroll in the fictional University of the Midwest. With the help of their roommate, Paige Hollister (Miranda Kent), and fellow students like socially inept Drew (Derek Carter) and prank-loving Abdul (Amir Talai), the inexperienced ladies enjoy a life full of all-nighters, keg-parties, and sexual experimentation. Their willingness to try anything often leads them into awkward (and sometimes raunchy) situations, all of which they cheerfully celebrate as part of their "educational" experience.
Is it any good?
Campus Ladies is funny, but it definitely has plenty of iffy (and sometimes crude) humor, poking fun at issues like religion, race, sexual misconduct, and mental and physical disabilities. It's tempered by the fact that Joan and Barri aren't mean-spirited, just oblivious to the fact that both they and their behavior are out of place.
While they're not the savviest pair, Joan and Barri's courage (to start their lives over) and attempts to live life fearlessly make them extremely likeable. Plus, the unconditional support they offer each other during the whole experience is a welcome, positive representation of female friendship. They provide a genuine reminder that it's never too late to change the direction of your life -- or to have fun in the process.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the realities of college life. How much pressure is there on college students to drink, do drugs, and have sex? Do you think dorm life is really the way it's presented on TV and in the movies? If not, why do you think it gets exaggerated? Families can also talk about big life changes. Is it ever too late to start something new -- like going back to school, trying a new hobby, or changing careers?