I Am Frankie
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Family, friendship, individuality emerge in likable sitcom.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Intends to entertain rather than to educate.
Kids see Frankie cope with experiences typical to tween and teen life, including making friends, dealing with social rivals, and having crushes. Her perspective is unique because, as an android, she analyzes things differently from how humans would, but it's surprisingly insightful nonetheless and usually involves talking things out with family or her best friend. A class diva is bossy and manipulative. Positive messages about respecting differences and embracing individuality.
Positive Role Models
Even though she's a robot, Frankie often surprises her family by reacting to situations in very human ways, and she always winds up making sound decisions. Those around her who know her real identity work hard to protect her from others who mean her harm.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and a general awareness of crushes and romantic relationships, but nothing physical.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Am Frankie is a family-friendly sitcom that tackles familiar teen issues like social rivalries and crushes. However, the main character has a unique perspective: She's an android. Frankie may not understand human nuances, but she perseveres with the help of her family and friends, who are essential to keeping her safe and on the right track. The story has two villains bent on capturing and/or dismantling Frankie, but neither is especially nefarious. Other characters can be two-faced (including Frankie, of course) or scheming at times, and their motivations aren't always obvious. This show's clean content and mostly wholesome themes of individuality and strong relationships will appeal to families.
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I Am Frankie
Based on 2 parent reviews
A really great show
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It’s cool to be smart
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What's the Story?
I AM FRANKIE centers on Frankie Gaines (Alex Hook), an all-around normal American teenager ... except for the fact that she's actually an android! After several unsuccessful attempts at creating a robot that could pass for a human, inventor Sigourney Gaines (Carrie Schroeder) perfected Frankie, and then took her home to keep her out of the grasp of her boss, Mr. Kingston (James D. Ballard), who planned to sell Frankie to a secret military group. Sigourney and her husband, Will (Michael Laurino), moved away to protect Frankie and give her as close to a normal life as possible, sending her to high school and exposing her to all the ups and downs of teen life. With only her younger sister, Jenny (Sophia Forest), and her best friend, Dayton (Nicole Alyse Nelson), privy to her real identity, Frankie learns to relate to her peers and cope with rivals like Tammy (Mohana Krishnan), even as more pressing dangers loom around her.
Is It Any Good?
Though she's not even human, Frankie's experiences with peers -- and the resulting emotions she discovers -- will ring true with young viewers. She quickly learns that not everyone has her best interests at heart, but that having friends and family in your corner can make all the difference in how you cope with adversity. Her reactions to common situations are comical because she's so literal and analytical, as when her mom tells her to stay away from a certain classmate and she turns and leaves whenever he comes near. As such, there's a lot of humor in this fun series.
What's notably missing in I Am Frankie is any concerning content for families, a thoroughly pleasant surprise in a show that has some multigenerational appeal. There's a strong family, a friendship marked by loyalty and trust, and in Frankie, a teen who seems impervious to issues like body image and popularity. Even the show's "villains" are silly and blundering enough that their schemes rarely threaten in any real sense, but they stick around to give the plot a useful third dimension.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Frankie's experiences in school and with friends compare to those of her classmates. Is she at an advantage because her emotions are limited? Is she more or less affected because she's different? Is there ever one right way to respond to a difficult situation?
How do you think cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence will change how we live in the future? Is it plausible to imagine a scenario like I Am Frankie as technological breakthroughs continue to happen? Is there any drawback to technology's increased presence in our lives?
In what cases do you see positive human attributes in Frankie? Would you respond differently to a similar challenge in her shoes? What other characters stand out as good role models and why?
- Premiere date: September 11, 2017
- Cast: Alex Hook, Sophia Forest, Nicole Alyse Nelson
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, High School, Robots
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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