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Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is
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 while this reality series -- which follows R&B singer Keyshia Cole as she attempts to reconnect with her estranged mother and other troubled family members -- features positive messages about family and survival, it also includes frank discussions about substance abuse, spousal battery, child abandonment, adultery, and other strong issues. Arguing, yelling and cursing (with words like "s--t" and "f--k" bleeped) are also common, and there's some drinking.
What's the story?
Reality series KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS follows R&B singer Keyshia Cole while she tries to reconnect with her dysfunctional family. Abandoned at the age of 4 by her drug-addicted mother, Frankie, Cole spent her youth living with a foster parent in the tough neighborhoods of Oakland, Calif. Now a successful singer-songwriter who has recorded with artists like Sean Combs and Missy Elliott, she finds herself wanting to reconnect with her family -- especially with her troubled mother. In an effort to leave the past behind, Cole relocates Frankie; her sister, Neffe; and her young nieces to her new home in Atlanta so that they can rebuild their lives. Her manager, Manny, and her assistant, Ronique -- who have relocated to Georgia to help her with her career -- support her efforts.
Is it any good?
While the show is a promotional vehicle for Cole's music (she's recording and promoting an album throughout the series), its primary focus is on the value of family and the importance of overcoming your past. Cole's hopes of creating a positive family environment are frequently challenged by her mother's inability to cope with the demons from her past. It contains some difficult moments, particularly when Frankie and Neffe are confronted with the consequences of their negative behavior. Meanwhile, Neffe tries to fit into this new world but finds it hard to let go of some of her bad habits.
Throughout the process, Cole finds herself having to face some of the harsh realities of her childhood. She must also come to terms with older sister Neffie's inability to successfully move beyond the streets of Oakland and build a better life for her own daughters. But the show also offers a glimpse into a family that, despite its hardships, seems to genuinely want to make it work.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of "celebreality" shows. Why do viewers enjoy watching musicians, actors, and other stars navigate everyday life? Are their lives relatable? Why or why not?
What happens to children when a parent abuses drugs or
alcohol? How do children cope when an addicted parent abandons them?
What happens when these kids grow up?
Why do some people (like Keyshia)
succeed in overcoming their difficult pasts while others can't seem to?
For kids who love reality TV
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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.