By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Mad misadventures of middle-aged college co-eds.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The Ladies have been close friends since childhood and are supportive of and loyal to each other. Choosing to go to college is empowering, but the focus is more on experiencing campus social life than education. Some of the college pranks encourage hitting, shoplifting, and other problematic behavior. The show pokes fun at serious issues, including race, religion, and disabilities.
Violence & Scariness
Some minor pushing and shoving, mostly for comic value. Paige punches people in the face as part of a dare.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some scenes include kissing and making out. Frequent references to sex and sexual organs; bedroom scenes are sometimes part of the comedy sequences. The Ladies (and younger co-eds) are sometimes featured in their underwear, including thongs (pubic hair is visible). The Ladies are caught "peeping" at boys in a locker room. Barri has sported an S&M outfit.
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Frequent use of words like "bitch," "tits," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
Rotating celebrity guest stars, including Jane Kaczmarek, Penny Marshall, Megan Mullally, Jason Alexander, and Sean Hayes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent consumption of alcohol, especially beer. Some experimentation with illegal drugs.
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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?
- Premiere date: January 8, 2006
- Cast: Carrie Aizley, Christen Sussin, Derek Carter
- Network: Oxygen
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: March 1, 2022
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