No Good Nick

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
No Good Nick TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Sympathetic teen scams a family in edgy sitcom.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 42 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 57 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

A mixed bag. On one hand, the show's protagonist is a scheming teen who's out to take advantage of a family for undisclosed past wrongs and to reunite her family. So she lies, cheats, steals, all while endearing herself to the very people she targets. But Nick herself is manipulated by her foster parents and her father, who misleads her about his own motivations, and she quickly develops a conscience about her plans to bilk the Thompsons out of money. Even so, Nick's arrival at the Thompson house inadvertently helps the family members relate better to each other, allows her to experience the joys of being part of a supportive and loving household.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite their naivety, which enables Nick's con to go on, Ed and Liz are good and honest parents who want what's best for their kids; they quickly come to think of Nick as one of them. Molly is similarly kindhearted, accepts Nick without reservation, but Jeremy finds her story suspect and works behind her back to get to the bottom of it. Nick is a con artist, willing to lie and cheat to get what she wants, but time proves there's a lot more (and a lot more heart) to her than first appears. Other adults in her life take advantage of her, use her for their own financial gain.

 

Violence

Some scenes imply that violence has happened, but the act itself isn't shown. In one, the camera cuts away just as Nick punches Jeremy in the face. In another, Tony sports a cast on his arm and multiple cuts and bruises on his face, and it's suggested that he was beat up because he hadn't repaid people to whom he owed money.

 

Sex

Expect teen romance; characters date and there is kissing between same sex and opposite sex characters. 

Language

Rarely "hell."

 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine is served in Liz's restaurant and at home with meals. Rarely a grown-up mentions needing a drink during a moment of stress.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that No Good Nick is a Netflix series about a teen who cons a family into taking her in by posing as a hard-luck relative, all while plotting to swindle them out of lots of  money. The enigmatic show casts Nick (Siena Agudong) as a genuinely likable, sympathetic figure who's been victimized by the adults in her life, even as she schemes against the kind people who welcome her into their home. This makes the series a somewhat complicated watch, despite the moments of levity related to family dynamics and the otherwise sitcom-y feel. While violence isn't shown on-screen, it's implied at times, most notably in a scene where a man's face is bloodied and his arm is in a cast after what's implied was a beatdown for financial default. This show's decidedly dark themes, occasional salty language, teen romance, and adult drinking make it a more appropriate watch for tweens and up than for younger viewers.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byThemillers04 June 29, 2019

Not a fan

We were disappointed by this show and have decided, as a family, to no long watch it. In the first few episodes we’ve seen: manipulation and con-artists, mom is... Continue reading
Adult Written byashleydavid1 July 14, 2019

Why is there swearing?!?

Seriously? We turned it off as soon as we heard the “D” word. Actually, we rewound it because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just hearing things. We resumed it... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byAuraW August 9, 2019

Great show for kids and teens

No Good Nick is a complex, fast paced drama for tweens and teens. I was first introduced to this show by my younger sister, who saw it first. Although there is... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byVegetable Oil November 1, 2019

This Is Perfect

No Good Nick is a great show that proves that deep down, even seemly bad people have good hearts. I will say that there is one scene where two boys kiss, but it... Continue reading

What's the story?

NO GOOD NICK opens with the surprise arrival of 13-year-old Nick (Siena Agudong) on the doorstep of the well-to-do Thompson family's home. Claiming to be a distant relative and recent orphan, Nick soon reveals (to the audience) that she's actually a cunning con artist hoping to dupe the Thompsons out of money for some long-held, unspecified grudge. Coached by her actual foster parents, Sam (Ted McGinley) and Dorothy (Molly Hagan), Nick proves quite adept at manipulating her new guardians, Ed (Sean Astin) and Liz (Melissa Joan Hart), and their teenage daughter, Molly (Lauren Lindsey Donzis). Only Molly's brother, Jeremy (Kalama Epstein), harbors suspicion about Nick's real motivations. As time goes by and Nick settles into the Thompson home, keeping up the ruse becomes more complicated, and the stakes for doing so get even higher.

Is it any good?

Packaged as a sitcom but involving some darker themes, this series takes time to gain traction and build intrigue. The characters' chemistry doesn't impress right off the bat, and despite her efforts to ensure otherwise, the many holes in Nick's story practically beg discovery from the all-too-naïve Thompsons. As her foster parents multitask to help cover her lies and cons and as another shadowy figure pulls strings from the background, a lot is left unresolved. Eventually viewers' persistence is rewarded with a plot that becomes more enticing as it plays out.

No Good Nick benefits from a veteran crew of actors and actresses, both among the adults and the teens. This is bound to help boost audience counts initially and really helps sell an unusual plot that otherwise might struggle to get off the ground. With so many familiar faces, No Good Nick makes for a fun, outside-the-box watch for families with tweens and teens, and its surprisingly frequent heartwarming moments emphasize the emotional rewards to come of close relationships in traditional and nontraditional families.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Nick a sympathetic character, despite her nefarious motives. In what ways is she a product of her upbringing? How does being manipulated by adults make her think differently than you might about doing the same to other innocent people? How does her experience with her new family change her feelings about conning them? Is she a definitively good or bad role model?

  • What character strengths do you see in Nick? What accounts for her ability to persevere through a difficult childhood? Does she use what she's learned for good? What, if any, positive effects does her presence have on the Thompson family?

  • This series presents two starkly different images of adults in Liz and Ed juxtaposed with Sam, Dorothy, and Tony. How do the two types of influence sway Nick's behavior? In what way do the two different sides create conflict in her emotions? Is she able to resolve this feeling in a constructive way?

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