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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Good Witch is a drama series inspired by Hallmark Channel's much-loved character from the Good Witch franchise, which numbers seven movies. As with its predecessors, the show's content is suitable for viewers of nearly any age and has wonderful messages about compassion, empathy, understanding, and responsibility. Family bonds and relationships both new and old are sources of strength and joy. A teen's rebellion causes stress for those around him, but he learns valuable lessons in the process. Family members cope with the recent loss of a loved one, which might raise some questions or concern from young kids. Adult women flirt shamelessly with a handsome newcomer to town. Ultimately, though, this is a wholesome drama with wholesome messages worthy of the entire family's attention.
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What's the story?
GOOD WITCH continues the story of the enchanting Cassie Nightingale (Catherine Bell), Middleton's most intuitive and empathetic resident. Living at Grey House with her now-teenage daughter, Grace (Bailee Madison), and her father-in-law, George (Peter MacNeill), Cassie welcomes new neighbors Dr. Sam Radford (James Denton) and his son, Nick (Rhys Matthew Bond). As the two attempt to adjust to small-town dynamics after living in New York City, Sam takes a skeptical view of Cassie's holistic approach to helping the people in her town, while troubled Nick butts heads with well-meaning Grace. As their lives take unexpected turns, Cassie's now-grown stepkids, Brandon and Lori, find themselves drawn back to their hometown as well.
Is it any good?
This Hallmark original series follows seven TV movies about charming, enigmatic Cassie and her family. A few things have changed since last we met her, most notably that her husband, Jake, has passed away, leaving an opening for new romance in this series. A new cast of supporting characters joins the show, including the captivating Bailee Madison, who's the perfect protégé for Bell's beloved and long-running character. But old favorites such as kindly George and overbearing Martha Tinsdale (Catherine Disher) are back as well to neatly bridge the gap between the movies and this series.
Everything you've come to like and expect from charming Cassie is here in force, namely quality, family-friendly content, stellar role models, and examples of making responsible choices. With the addition of 14-year-old Bailee, there's even more opportunity for those excellent messages to be delivered in ways that resonate with kids as well, as she deals with troublesome peers and other pressures. And if you're coming to this Good Witch without the background of the movies, there's no need to worry about getting up to speed on the characters or the story; the show works just as well as a stand-alone tale. So if you're looking for a hearty drama series the whole family can enjoy together, then Good Witch is well worth your time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Cassie's character in Good Witch. What makes her a good role model? Is she a believable character, or do you find her goodness and charm contrived? What do you make of her unique brand of "magic"?
What kinds of messages do we get from the media about family relationships? Compared to other shows you've seen, are these characters' interactions more or less on par with what you experience in your family? Why is effective communication such an important component of strong relationships?
What do you think is the appeal of the Good Witch stories? Do their messages differ from what you notice in other drama series and movies? Can you learn as much from a negative character type as you can from a strong role model? Why, or why not?
- Premiere date: February 28, 2015
- Cast: Catherine Bell, Bailee Madison, James Denton
- Network: Hallmark Channel
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Communication, Empathy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
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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.