Coolio's Rules

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Coolio's Rules TV Poster Image
Parenthood is this rapper's new paradise.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Coolio claims to have given up the partying life of a successful gangsta rapper and is taking advantage of his chance to be a hands-on father to his almost-adult children. His approach isn't perfect, but he clearly loves his kids and wants a family life with them. He demands that his daughter's dates be respectful. Some of Coolio's rules are designed to set boundaries and teach his kids a work ethic; the kids don't always respect them. Occasional references to his past relationships and his divorce. Some sexist references.

Violence

Occasional arguments between Coolio and his kids, especially between father and son. Occasional references to Coolio's music, which is notorious for violent lyrics, but nothing violent is really heard.

Sex

Lots of sexual innuendo, including references to Coolio's past as a ladies' man. Coolio discusses his personal dating and relationship needs, often using terms like "hot-ass women" and arguing that good cooking will make a "woman's panties come right off." Occasional conversations about teen dating issues; one of Coolio's rules is that his children are/were not allowed to date until they're 16.

Language

Audible language includes words like "bitch," "ass," "hell," and "damn." Stronger curse words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped. Coolio occasionally curses in front of his kids, usually when he gets frustrated.

Consumerism

Occasional clips from Coolio's music, music videos, and concerts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Visible alcohol consumption (wine, beer, mixed drinks).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series follows Grammy-winning rapper Coolio as he attempts to build a family life with his nearly grown children. While his approach to parenting isn't always the best, he loves his kids and tries to instill some positive values in them. The show's list of iffy stuff includes strong language (words like "bitch" and "ass" are audible; "f--k" and its ilk are bleeped), sexual innuendo, and sexist references. Coolio sometimes discusses his past life as a partying womanizer, and some episodes feature family arguments, especially between Coolio and his son.

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What's the story?

COOLIO'S RULES follows Grammy-winning \"gangsta\" rapper Coolio as he attempts to reinvent himself as a father to his four almost-adult children. In order to make up for his years as an absentee dad, he now lives with his four kids -- 15-year-old Jackie, 19-year-old Brandi, 20-year-old Artisha, and 18-year-old Artis. As he navigates his way through family life, Coolio attempts to parent according to his own set of rules, which require his kids to clean up after themselves, earn their money, and (in Jackie's case) not date until they're 16. When his kids' behavior inevitably doesn't live up to his idealized expectations, he turns to his friend/assistant Jarez Posey for advice and support.

Is it any good?

The show is full of both amusing and poignant moments as Coolio and his kids try to negotiate the boundaries of their relationship. The rapper finds himself coping with a messy house, teen dating, and his daughters' underhanded attempts to set him up on blind dates with women they approve of. Meanwhile, Artis tests his dad's patience by refusing to accept any of advice about growing up and going into the music industry. And, like any parent, Coolio experiences the frustration that comes with discovering that his kids don't always follow his rules -- and the disappointment that comes with learning that his kids' priorities don't necessarily match his own.

Coolio's communication style may not always be the smoothest or most appropriate (as when he tells his son that good cooking will lead to "a woman's panties coming off"), but he loves his kids and, in his own way, tries to teach them responsibility and instill a good work ethic. But the show has its fair share of strong language, and some of the kids' behavior -- like throwing parties at the house when expressly told not to -- doesn't always set the best example. But when all is said and done, there are some positive messages here about family. It's a little strong for tweens, but teens should be able to handle it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about TV shows that feature "real-life" celebrity families. Why do you think these families choose to make these shows? Do you think they act the same way when the cameras aren't there? What makes these particular families "TV worthy"? Would your own family life make a good reality show? Why or why not? Families can also discuss how parents and children reinvent their relationships. Is it ever too late for a parent to establish a closer relationship with his or her kids, even if the kids are nearing adulthood?

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