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 high-school sitcom will appeal to both teens and their parents. And although there are some comedic references to drugs (one teacher mentions smelling "bong water," etc.), the content is surprisingly mild, so some parents may be OK with older tweens watching, too. Boy-girl dynamics are a common theme -- but not just between students. The show's main character, a high school guidance counselor, also has the hots for a handsome teacher. Yet she still manages to dole out insightful advice to her troubled charges that's truly worth repeating.
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What's the story?
In MISS GUIDED, Judy Greer stars as Becky Freeley, a former high school outcast who's now a guidance counselor at her old alma mater. Becky genuinely loves her job, mainly because it gives her the chance to pass on the useful advice she wishes she'd had as a teen. Plus, it puts her in daily contact with handsome Spanish teacher Tim O'Malley (Kristoffer Polaha), who she has a major crush on. Problems arise when Becky's former nemesis -- the impossibly beautiful Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns) -- signs on as the school's new English teacher and starts competing for Tim's affections.
Is it any good?
Executive produced by Ashton Kutcher, who makes at least one appearance as a guest star, this charming high school comedy has a lot going for it. Greer is a lovable leading lady, and it's nice to see this longtime sidekick (known for trusty "best friend" roles in romantic comedies like The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, and 27 Dresses) finally stepping out on her own. And the dialogue zips along like a well-oiled machine thanks to well-cast supporting players like Chris Parnell of Saturday Night Live fame.
All of that said, Miss Guided isn't perfect; the biggest strike against it is the fact that the central plot (girl competes with rival female for hot guy's attention) is hardly original. But thanks to a strong cast and good writing, the show is ultimately a smart, entertaining way to spend half an hour.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the complexities of high school dynamics -- and whether cliques actually go away when teens become adults. Kids: Do you consider yourself to be part of a certain group at school, or do you operate as more of a free agent? Have you ever looked down on a classmate for being different? Have you ever been hassled for your own differences? Parents can also share their own high school experiences with their kids, reflecting on whether social struggles in high school had any bearing on their ability to lead happy adult lives.
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