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 soapy drama follows the mystery behind a murder. In at least one episode, viewers see a dead person in a flashback scene as well as another person getting shot. A thief threatens the main character's family with a gun while stealing drugs. The town detective is perpetually drunk. One main character shoplifts, lies, and plots to use sex for material gain. People who initially seem good may turn out to be bad (and vice versa).
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What's the story?
In cheesy, slow-paced drama MONARCH COVE, Bianca Foster (Virginia Williams), who was falsely accused of killing her father, returns home after six years in prison. Bianca arrives in Monarch Cove to find her family's wealth squandered, her sister a scamming man-eater, her brother a drug dealer, and her grandmother, Grace (Shirley Jones), ill with cancer. Bianca tolerates her family's considerable quirks while searching for her father's real killer and looking for a way to treat her grandmother's cancer. Along the way she falls for the beach town's rich scion, Jake (Kieren Hutchison), only to find him on the verge of marriage to snobby socialite Elizabeth (Samantha Healy). Sentimentality abounds, with champagne toasts, sunset embraces, and impassioned attempts to save Grace's life.
Is it any good?
Plenty of lightweight scandal and intrigue pepper the plot. The town's alcoholic detective is involved with bad guys and knows secrets about Bianca's father's murder. Bianca's younger brother, Ben (Matt Funke), has a wad of unexplained cash and bruised knuckles. And Grace drinks marijuana tea to ease the pain of her cancer.
While the show's creators clearly want us to root for poor little Bianca, Monarch Cove is so poorly written and cheaply produced that it's hard to care about the characters or their situations. The dialogue is laughably bad, and the acting isn't much better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenge of making tough moral decisions. In this show, characters lie and commit crimes in order to help a family member. How do parents and teens weigh the pros and cons of a questionable decision? What would you do to save a loved one's life? What wouldn't you do? Do the ends ever justify the means? How many times can you forgive the people you love?