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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street is an endearing series with strong themes of friendship and family relationships. The main characters are three quirky tweens with longtime ties to each other and an amiable friendship with their elderly neighbor, whom they help in numerous ways. One of the tweens often utters stand-in swear words like "son of a blueberry," but there's no traditional strong language. Expect some very mild peril when the kids' plans meet with unexpected snags, but ultimately this is a wholesome show that's appropriate for the whole family.
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What's the story?
GORTIMER GIBBON'S LIFE ON NORMAL STREET is the story of three friends -- Gortimer (Sloane Morgan Siegel), Ranger (Drew Justice), and Mel (Ashley Boettcher) -- and the mysterious things that happen in their deceptively average-looking neighborhood. It all starts with Gortimer's encounter with their eccentric elderly neighbor, Mrs. Hudspith (Fionnula Flanagan), who asks for his help in a strange project that winds up revealing a long-held secret of hers. Suddenly the kids find themselves in the midst of other bizarre happenings, all within a stone's throw of Gortimer's house on Normal Street.
Is it any good?
This delightful show has something for everyone -- mystery, comedy, and a touch of nostalgia for grown-ups who remember fondly the unique sense of magic in childhood adventures. Parents know that it's no simple task finding a show that's both appropriate for and appealing to the whole family. Whether it's suggestive situations too mature for youngsters or fantasy so unrealistic that tweens tune out, finding the right mix of innocence and entertainment is a challenge.
Enter Gortimer Gibbon and his faithful friends with their quirky ways, hearty relationships, and indomitable spirits, and you'll find that the search is over. Add in forthright values, great examples of positive relationships, and a touch of fantasy, and you have the makings of a real winner for kids and adults alike in Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. What are the markers of a healthy relationship? How do good friends overcome disagreements? Are the relationships and friendships in Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street strong and healthy?
What does teamwork mean to you? How do the characters in Gortimer Gibbons show good teamwork? Why is teamwork important? Think about a team that you enjoyed being a part of. How did teammates decide what work to do? How did they do their work? How did they treat each other? Can you tell me about a time when you had to work together with other kids to get something done? What's hard for you when you work with a team and what's easy? Have you ever been part of a team that didn’t achieve its goal -- maybe your team lost a game or didn’t finish a project? How did that feel? What happened next -- what did your team do after that? What did you learn from that experience that might be helpful in the future?
What do Gortimer and his friends do to model compassion, or to show kindness and caring? What are some ways that you show your kindness and caring? How can you grow or better show your compassion -- can you think of more people you can show concern for, or more ways that you can help out? For example, are there any kids in your school who could use a good friend? What kindness could you show them?
Kids: How does this series compare to some of your other favorites? Are the characters realistic? Can you relate to the situations? Do you think TV characters are positive role models?
- Premiere date: February 6, 2014
- Cast: Fionnula Flanagan, Sloane Morgan Siegel, Drew Justice
- Network: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Character strengths: Compassion, Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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