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 the concept of boy-girl relationships is prevalent in this fantasy-laced cartoon series, but that these relationships are generally portrayed as sweet and innocent. Also, while the series' role models are somewhat self-centered, they seem fairly well-adjusted and not so wrapped up in their own problems that they ignore their friends' feelings; in fact, they often try to help one another.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Billed as a cross between Friends and The Twilight Zone, the animated O'GRADY follows the lives of four normal teens -- Kevin (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), Abby (Melissa Bardin Galsky), Beth (Holly Schlesinger), and Harold (Patrice O'Neal) -- in a not-so-normal town called O'Grady. The foursome's daily trials and tribulations are par for the course for most teens, but add into the mix something called the Weirdness -- an inexplicable phenomenon that affects the townspeople in any number of strange ways -- and you've got, well, a lot of weirdness. Among other effects, the Weirdness can make people act like cats if they're feeling "catty," float upward like a helium balloon if they're feeling happy, or age instantly when they sneeze. Needless to say, this can wreak havoc on the lives of insecure teenagers -- though some occasionally figure out how to use the Weirdness to their advantage.
Is it any good?
O'Grady is a lighthearted, humorous take on teenage life, with a fantastical twist thrown in to make things really fun. The show is reminiscent of the '90s sitcom Saved by the Bell due to its wholesome, not-too-serious themes -- friendships, boy-girl relationships, school activities -- and of the WB's Gilmore Girls thanks to its rapid-fire, witty banter. What's hilarious is how closely the script mimics the conversation style of typical teens -- their speech is peppered with "like," "omigod," and "totally," their intonation is dead-on, and their conversation topics (usually not too weighty) are realistic. As the four main characters face their daily challenges, they learn to take the ever-changing effects of the Weirdness in stride, and their nonchalance makes each strange occurrence all the funnier.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the show's stereotypes (the dumb blonde, the slacker, the princess). What makes the stereotypes so humorous in this show, and how does this compare with the way other shows portray them? Another discussion topic could be the way the characters treat each other. Is this behavior typical of most teenagers you know? Is the characters' behavior more positive or negative than the way your peers behave?
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