Holly Hobbie

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Holly Hobbie TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Country girl manages friend drama in nostalgic tween series.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Themes explored include overreliance on social media, how the personal is political, what true friendship means, what it really means to be part of a community.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Holly is the type of girl who will go above and beyond to help a friend. Her little sister, Heather, believes that girls should have the same rights and opportunities as boys and doesn't let outdated stereotypes keep her from achieving her goals.


If anything, Holly is a rampant anti-materialist who often preaches about the evils of mass consumption and corporatization. No, really.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Holly Hobbie is a live-action kids' series that is loosely inspired by the big-bonneted, rag dress-clad character from the 1970s and '80s, who appeared as a mega-popular cloth doll as well as in countless illustrations, books, and other merchandising tie-ins. The series is very tame, with no coarse language, sexual content, or violence to speak of. Plotlines will be relatable for many kids, and focus on issues like jealousy, the draw of social media, and family relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMaryann123 April 5, 2020

Cute, but...

The show seemed cute at first. The further you watch, the more irritating the spoiled and entitled kids become. They are very disrespectful to the adults in the... Continue reading
Adult Written bynonetheless March 21, 2020

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 - under... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySmiled July 6, 2019


I love this show, I love your best freind Amy too, she is so genuine and caring and beautiful and your friendship together is so nice to watch. I wish I had... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byVulpixel May 14, 2020

Is there an opposite button for the good role model?

If you want a good role model for your kids, don't use Holly Hobbie. The weird part is that half of the characters are pretty likable, and the other half c... Continue reading

What's the story?

HOLLY HOBBIE takes the ubiquitous rag doll character of 1970s and '80s fame and turns her into a freckle-faced small-town 13-year-old (Ruby Jay) who spends her days playing guitar, hanging with her brainy best friend Amy (Saara Chaudry), and waiting tables at her grandmother's floundering café, the Calico. Holly's primary goal is doing whatever she can to help get the Calico back on its feet, but she also struggles with conflicting feelings about how her relationship with Amy is changing, thanks to the arrival of a trendsetting new "cool girl" at school, who seems more focused on acquiring social media likes than on real life. The Hobbie family also includes an older brother, popular football player Robbie (Charles Vandervaart), and her spunky younger sister, Heather (Kate Moyer), who is determined to earn a spot on the boy's baseball team -- whether the boys want it or not.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lengths Holly goes to in order to help the people she cares about, such as her grandmother and her new friend, Piper. How does this demonstrate character strengths such as compassion and perseverance? Why are these qualities important?

  • Holly's opinion of Piper wasn't very favorable at the beginning of Holly Hobbie, but this turned around in a big way by the end of the season. Why is it important to get to know someone before passing judgment? Can you think of a time in your life when your opinion about someone changed once you knew a little more about that person?

  • Holly's younger sister, Heather, excels at baseball, yet she faces jealously and resistance from her male teammates, who have what she'd consider outdated views on who should be allowed on their team. How does the pursuit of her goals show courage and perseverance?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love tween TV

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

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.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate