Parents' Guide to

Holly Hobbie

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Country girl manages friend drama in nostalgic tween series.

TV Hulu Drama 2018
Holly Hobbie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 11+

Not sure where I stand with this show.

Holly and her friends come off as selfish and entitled the longer the show runs for. When Piper first moved into town and became friends with Amy, Holly - understandably - gets upset and thinks her best friend has found a new best friend. However, rather than really getting to know Piper from the start, Holly acts like Amy can only have one friend at all. This behavior is shown all throughout the show. Holly and Amy almost entirely refuse to take 'no' for an answer. Holly's parents and grandmother are no help in correcting this behavior, allowing it to continue to bring upon the selfish Holly shows. Holly almost always has to find a way to make it go her way, and Amy does just the same. Piper shows this kind of behavior as well, but it is not as often or as much as her two friends - she seems to understand when people say "no" or "enough is enough". There was never an episode where Holly and Amy did not get their way. In an episode where Piper and Holly have their birthday parties on the same day, Holly makes sure that her party is a much bigger success than Piper's. Holly and Piper could have had a joint party where everyone could come and have fun together, but Holly had to - as always - make everything go her way and be about her. There is a play where Holly and another character, Savannah both audition for. Holly shows up late but is still allowed to audition. Savannah gets cast as the lead, where Holly does not. Holly is, understandably, upset over this, but refuses to be anything other than the center of attention for this play. The director explains why she was not cast as the lead role, which includes her showing late for auditions and that he doesn't feel she is right for the part. Holly somehow manages to get the director to change his mind and now she is the lead. Savannah, who not only showed on time for auditions but who was originally the lead, is now Holly's understudy. Holly proves multiple times during the practices for the play why she was not originally the lead, and gets upset with director over her own mistakes. In the end, Savannah gets her role back - which she wanted and had earned from the beginning. These girls, Holly and Amy, act as if they are the only ones in the town that matter and should matter. Everything feels like it has to go their way and for them only despite having many characters where things obviously should be going for them. These girls do not think nor care about those around them except for Piper. Holly's sister Heather shows these same behaviors, but not as strong or well out there. She, at the time the show is based around, still understands the meaning of no and understands others need to have chances to. Holly's brother Robbie acts just as Holly in the beginning of the show during season 1, but by season 2 he shows much character growth and maturity. Holly's parents seem to let Holly go about life acting this way with no repercussions or talks about how life isn't always fair for everybody all of the time. The only characters that seem to even attempt to put Holly and her friends in their places are the director and the bus driver (seen in season 2 episode 8). In another season 2 episode, Amy doesn't go onto the science fair regionals for her medical based project. A boy with a popsicle stick bridge does. Instead of saying to him "job well done, congratulations" she organizes a walkout during an important test. This test will determine the funding for their school and teachers. Rather than thinking of how her and her classmates actions could and would effect their teachers and future education at that same school, she has all of the girls walk out to protest and get her project to regionals. The teacher makes a compromise and let's both students go to regionals with the bridge project. Is this enough for Amy? No. Amy must make it be a project that she is happy with and will win her whatever prize they would get. The poor boy just wanted to showcase his bridge idea. Due to Amy's feelings, the boy let's her take her project to regionals without him. He had one fair and square but Amy had to get what she wanted. Amy and Holly are spoiled brats that need to hear the word no and take a time out from everyone for a while sometimes. However, despite all of this, the show still manages to keep itself together and solid. It is a nice family show, good for any girl at the ages of 11 and 12. I would only recommend it to girls ages of 11 and 12. I just truly hope that if the show continues on for longer, they really ingrain the idea of life not being fair for everyone and showing through Holly and her friends how to deal with that in a more appropriate manner. I feel that by showing that it would show kids that it's okay to lose sometimes. There are plenty of moments still where standing up for what you want and believe in can still be shown in this show, but displaying that everything has to go your way is not always the best choice. A show like this is the perfect way to balance the two out and I wish it had done that from the start.
age 11+

Good, but....

Watched season 1 with my 10 year old. Definitely some tween subject matter. Innocent overall. Not a fan of Holly’s brother and girlfriends choices of laying in truck bed together or girlfriend sitting on boyfriends lap. Subtle things that make tempting situation “ok”. Also the final season episode. There is a same sex relationship referenced to. Holly’s moms HS boyfriend has a boyfriend we find this out when Mr Hobby asks his wife if he needs to be concerned about old flames.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (11 ):

The series has a homespun charm and relatable themes for tween viewers, but the dialogue can be oddly articulate and scripted-sounding, especially coming from the mouths of 10- and 13-year-olds. That particular bit of clunkiness aside, Holly Hobbie's heart is most definitely in the right place, the songs are catchy and fun (each episode features a performance at the Calico café), and there are some great messages about the importance of community involvement, setting and achieving goals, and being a true friend.

TV Details

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