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 Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn is a sitcom centering on four siblings who spend a lot of time quarreling, which causes trouble and messy mishaps that are played for humor. The sibling rivalry may strike a chord with your kids, but the lengths to which these quadruplets go to gain the upper hand hopefully won't. Don't expect to see many realistic consequences for the kids' antics, since the parents rarely dole out punishments even when they're warranted, thanks to their longstanding frustration with the quads' behavior. There are some heartwarming moments when the kids manage to get along and benefit from a cooperative effort, but they're not nearly as memorable as the comical chaos. In later seasons of the show, as the quads mature, parents generally only appear to say a few funny lines -- they don't offer as much guidance to their children as parents might like.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
NICKY, RICKY, DICKY & DAWN centers on the Harper quadruplets, who share little more than their common birthday and the ability to drive each other (and their parents) a little nuts. There's Dawn (Lizzy Greene), the oldest of the bunch by mere seconds, who's quick with ideas to get the kids out of jams. Ricky (Casey Simpson) fancies himself the smart leader of the group, which often leads to power struggles with his sister. Nicky (Aidan Gallagher) frets over the havoc his siblings' quarreling causes, and laid-back Dicky (Mace Coronel) just lets everything roll off him. But if these kids thought being a quadruplet was hard, it pales in comparison to their parents' (Allison Munn and Brian Stepanek) task in raising them.
Is it any good?
Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn sells itself on the idea that sibling rivalry is an inarguable truth of life in a family, and to some degree that's true. But the show takes bothering, bugging, and bickering to a whole new level at the hands of these polar-opposite brothers and sister, to the point where it dominates even the heartwarming messages about family ties and overcoming differences that it tries to sell.
Parents will feel particular exasperation with the grown-ups, who too often cave to the whims of their scheming and somewhat argumentative children. Rarely do they assert authority, and in some cases they even celebrate unworthy moments, such as discovering that the kids worked together (a good thing) to keep their parents in the dark about ruining something special that belonged to their dad (a not-so-good thing). Of course, kids will find this kind of alternate reality very amusing, but you may not. It's worth noting that Season 3 of the show, when the quads are middle school-aged, takes on slightly more mature subject matter, with storylines that deal with petty thievery, popularity, puberty, and school pranks. In various episodes, various Harpers shave their legs, rebel against a teacher and refuse to do classwork, and go on dates to a Renaissance faire. But their tween antics are still pretty innocent, with episodes that revolve around winning a photo contest or the Harpers' hopes of starring in their own reality show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about getting along and managing conflict. Kids: What kinds of issues commonly cause trouble between you and your siblings or friends? Why is cooperation important? How does working together help ensure that everyone walks away happy?
What rules about behavior do you have in your home? Why is it important to treat others with respect, even when you disagree about something?
Do TV families like this one look and sound like yours? If not, what differences do you notice? How do TV shows and movies help us escape from our own lives for a little while? What rules does your family have about appropriate media choices?
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