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 the mother is caught in a lie about the identity of her sons' father, and that her addiction to marijuana impacts her younger son Bobby in two ways. First, it makes him sad that she's addicted and second, he steals her pot in the first episode to bribe his way into a cooler gang at school.
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What's the story?
In JACK AND BOBBY, the story tellers behind Everwood, Dawson's Creek, The West Wing and Ally McBeal tell the story of two high school brothers and their single mother (played forcefully by Academy Award winner Christine Lahti). One of the brothers will become president one day. The show's conceit is that we get to see what goes into the making of the character of a future leader. Set in present day, with flash-forward interviews of future-President McCallister's White House staffers and first lady, it's a snapshot of a young man being molded to beat the odds and become the mid-century's greatest presidential leader.
Is it any good?
The show doesn't back away from controversial subjects but treats them seriously. For example, in the premiere episode, Bobby (the future president) steals his mother's pot in order to be better liked at school; his brother lies for him even though it means he is punished by the school as well. The mother is overbearing and flawed and has lied to her younger son about his father's true identity. In other hands, this could be handled melodramatically, but this initial episode treats the material with deftness.
Parents should keep an eye on the show because it can easily topple over into sensationalism and exploit this tense set-up. But this is one of those rare shows that should be watched and discussed with your high school-aged teens, because it brings up important issues of character and human flaws.
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