What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that racy dialogue and other suggestive content make Mystery Girls an iffy choice for tweens and younger teens. A character's casual sexual encounters are frequent fodder for jokes, and references to phone sex, sex tapes, "faking it," prostitutes, and oral sex, as well as audible bedroom noises (moaning and role-playing talk), are fair game. You'll see adults drink alcohol to relax while they're on the clock and hear them use words such as "ass," "dammit," and "hell" in moderation. On the whole, the characters are far from modeling responsible behavior, but that's clearly not a goal of this carefree comedy series that pins its hopes on drawing adult viewers by reuniting Beverly Hills, 90210 stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling.
What's the story?
Holly Hamilton (Tori Spelling) and Charlie Contour (Jennie Garth) were the fresh faces of '90s TV as the case-cracking MYSTERY GIRLS, but, when the show ended, so did their friendship. Fifteen years later, Charlie is a happily married suburban mom with little care for her former life, whereas Holly is obsessed with reclaiming her fleeting fame. When die-hard fan Nick (Miguel Pinzon) brings the two back together, they rekindle their friendship and agree to team up as real-life private investigators called (what else?) the Mystery Girls.
Is it any good?
Mystery Girls feels much like the show's creators made a last-minute decision to change from a cartoon format to a live-action one. The preposterous set-up is rivaled in outright silliness only by Spelling's over-the-top, frivolous character, but even she is routinely eclipsed by wacky Nick's (who's a no-brainer as the firm's superfluous assistant) ability to seize a scene. Garth's Charlie is the only level head in the bunch...that is, until she's easily pulled into one outrageous scheme after another by her carefree partner in crime. Oh, and the writing? It's pretty bad as well, marked by Spelling zingers such as, "Blood, fiber, semen -- lay it on me! Away from my face and hair if you can." Ouch.
What's really surprising, though, is that all of this matters less than you might think it would. This show is ridiculous and pointless yet manages to be fun, particularly for adults with fond memories of the ladies' Beverly Hills, 90210 days. Teens without that point of reference might not see the appeal, but nostalgia goes a long way in selling this otherwise obscure comedy series.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about fame. Does it always come at a cost? What do celebrities sacrifice for their visibility? Would it be worth it to you?
Why is sexual humor such a mainstay in comedy? Where do you draw the line between what's funny and what's offensive? Do TV ratings do enough to warn viewers about the content in a movie or series?
Teens: What factors affect how you feel about yourself? Is body image something you think much about? What messages do we get from the media about how we should look? Are these always realistic expectations?