A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this hit '90s show started out as an adult-oriented comedy but was toned down to be more family friendly after its first season. There's some mild sexual innuendo, as well as frequent references to things like fist fights and "drive bys" that are intended to be more funny than violent and will most likely go over the head of young viewers. Overall, the show highlights the importance of family and friendship.
What's the story?
HANGIN' WITH MR. COOPER, which originally aired in the 1990s, stars stand-up comedian Mark Curry as Mark Cooper, a retired NBA player who returns to his hometown of Oakland to take a job as a substitute teacher and part-time gym coach. He decides to move in with his childhood friend Robin Dumars (Dawnn Lewis) and her roommate, Vanessa Russell (Holly Robinson-Peete). As the single and self-perceived ladies' man adjusts to life with female roommates, he finds himself experiencing a lot of dating misadventures. Things get even more complicated when Robin moves out and cousin Geneva (Saundra Quarterman) moves in with her young daughter Nicole (Raven Symone). But no matter how crazy his life gets, Mark never forgets where he came from or what's really important in life.
Is it any good?
The show -- which was originally positioned as an adult-oriented comedy similar to '70s classic Three's Company but became more family targeted in later seasons -- showcases Curry's brand of humor and features lots of slapstick comedy. But beneath the silliness (especially in later seasons) is a strong message about the importance of friendship and the value of being supported by an extended family. It also highlights the importance of returning to your community and mentoring kids.
It's all pretty mild, but there is some subtle sexual innuendo, usually related to dating and romantic tensions between some of the main characters. Some of the jokes also include humorous references to violent behavior, including fights and drive bys. But much of this will most likely go over the head of younger viewers, and it's generally overshadowed by the show's overall positive message,making Hangin' with Mr. Cooper a decent viewing choice for older tweens and teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sitcoms. Are there any significant differences between the TV comedies that are popular today and those that were popular a decade ago? Is the humor itself different? Why are some shows still funny and popular 10, 20, or 30 years after they originally aired? Why aren't others? Which of today's shows do you think will stand the test of time?
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