A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Carol's Second Act is a funny, heartwarming series about a 50-year-old woman reinventing her life by becoming a doctor as a second career. The story often makes light of her advanced age relative to her peers', but these instances allow her to prove her unique value as both an eager student and an emotionally settled adult with both life experience and mature perspective. As such, her age becomes a benefit to herself and to her coworkers and challenges the norms accordingly. Expect occasional mention of matters like "horny teenagers" and "boner pills."
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What's the story?
In CAROL'S SECOND ACT, divorcee Carol Kenney (Patricia Heaton) embarks on a second career as a doctor after retiring from teaching. Being the only "late-middle-aged" intern poses some unique challenges, but Carol wins over her peers -- Danny (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), Lexie (Sabrina Jalees), and Caleb (Lucas Neff) -- with her enthusiasm and her resilience. Even her no-nonsense boss, Dr. Jacobs (Ito Aghayere), comes to see that Carol's unique perspective on life and patient care is an unexpected asset to the hospital, even if it is disruptive to the tight ship she attempts to run.
Is it any good?
Heaton's wholehearted embrace of this show's titular character advances this feel-good comedy series beyond what otherwise might be expected. Carol is a whirlwind of excitement, determination, passion, and opinion, unwilling to allow her age to be a detriment and always finding a way to use it to her advantage. By so doing, she proves her worth to those around her and reminds viewers that age is merely a number, not a definition.
Carol's Second Act surrounds its main character with a capable supporting cast, each of whom has his or her own personality flaws that add humor to the story and invitations to Carol to wield her uncanny knack for resolving conflict. As she is pulled in different directions and at times called on to mother, counsel, referee, support, and question authority, she embodies the worth of an often-overlooked segment of society with valuable life experience and intuition.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes Carol an asset to her coworkers and friends. What character strengths like compassion and respect set her apart from the other interns? Is a person's life experience a marketable characteristic in the real world? Should it be more so than it is? Why or why not?
To what degree does Carol's Second Act challenge stereotypes about age, gender, and race? How is society changing with regard to diversity of thought and ability? Are all of these changes positive ones?
Does this show's setting in a hospital make the comedy more or less effective? Does it make you wonder about similar office politics and human folly in actual hospitals? To what degree does entertainment reflect reality and vice versa?
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