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One Big Happy Family
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 reality series -- which follows a family with a serious weight problem (each person in the family weighs more than 300 pounds) -- sends positive messages about family relationships and trying to make a change for the better. While the members of the Coles family do tease each other, they also love each other very much. The teen kids sometimes act up, but they're ultimately respectful of their parents -- and every member of the family steps up to take responsibility for their collective weight problem.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The Coles family is big -- not in number, but in size. Dad Norris, mom Tameka, and teens Amber and Shayne each weigh over 300 pounds. They don't have access to a personal trainer or nutritionist, but they do have each other -- and ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY documents their attempts to work together to change their eating habits and other unhealthy patterns that have contributed to their weight problem.
Is it any good?
There's only one reason why this show works -- the fact that the Coles really seem to care about each other. Norris and Tameka are good parents, even if they have let the weight thing get out of hand. Aside from that, they're caring, supportive, and firm with their kids -- and they're willing to accept their part of the responsibility for the whole family's weight issues.
No reallity show is ever perfectly real, but One Big Happy Family seems a lot more real than many others. That's because it's more of a documentary than a gimicky competition or game show -- and the people are doing their best to reverse a lifetime of bad habits rather than score a talent deal. It's clearly going to be rocky, but if anyone has a chance, the Coles' do ... and you can't help cheering them on.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the realities of reality TV. Do you think everything captured by the cameras actually happened that way naturally? Are the people we see on screen really that way when the cameras aren't on?
What lessons can be learned from this show? Can you apply the information the Coles family uses to your own life? Do you consider them good role models?
Why do you think the Coled family chose to participate in the series? Would you ever like to do something similar?
For kids who love reality TV
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.