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 comedy features parents who seem unwilling or incapable of disciplining and setting boundaries for their teenage daughters. There's lots of bratty behavior, sneaking around, and lying. Drinking (hard liquor, beer) is visible, the teens like to dress in revealing clothing, and references are made to teen pregnancy. There's also lots of salty language ("damn," "bitch," "dumb ass") and references to stores like The Gap.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER stars Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran as Annie and Nikki, two divorced mothers who are struggling with their teenage daughters, Sophie (Kristi Lauren) and Mackenzie (Aisha Dee). To make up for their own difficult upbringings, these moms have allowed their daughters to get away with things and become spoiled brats. Their indulgent fathers, Matt (Eric Sheffer Stevens) and Gary (Chad Coleman), aren't very helpful when it comes to disciplining them, either. Only Matt's brother, Uncle Jack (Kevin Rahm), and the girls' obnoxious high school principal, Deanna Diego (Rosa Blasi), are willing to point out the necessity of taking a tough stance when teaching the two girls right from wrong. Tough love doesn't come easy to the women, but they continue to look for ways to teach their daughters some lessons while coping with their obnoxious behavior.
Is it any good?
The series attempts to take a humorous look at the challenges that come with raising teenage daughters. But what it really does is center on adults who love their daughters but are unwilling to take a tough stance with their children when necessary. The show pits the mothers against the daughters and shows how easily the girls resort to disrespect, insults, and even lying to get what they want while their moms beg them to listen, behave, and/or love them. Meanwhile, their fathers prefer to placate their girls rather than face the conflicts that inevitably arise from setting strict disciplinary boundaries.
Granted, the moms often find ways to get back at their daughters for their sneaky behavior, but the problem is that it's often done in a way that's secretive and passive-aggressive. As a result, the young women never appear to understand (or care that much about) the consequences of their actions, and lessons never seem to be learned. Some viewers may find all of this relatable and funny, but the underlying message the show is sending about parent-teen relationships isn't so rosy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Sophie and Mackenzie's negative behavior. Why is what they do inappropriate? Why aren't their parents more willing to be strict with them?
Do you think featuring these kinds of parent-teen relationships on a comedy series is intended to serve as a warning to both kids and parents? Or does it encourage negative behavior by making it seem funny without highlighting the negative consequences that will come as a result?
What would be the real-life consequences of some of the behavior featured on the show?
Our editors recommend
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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.
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