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 although this series aims to teach viewers about good behavior and respecting others, its hackneyed situations and endless cheesy sound effects get in the way of anything meaningful. The futuristic elements are so poorly tacked on to the stories that they seem irrelevant. And Phil's sister is so nasty, rude, and antagonistic that it makes the show nearly unwatchable. All in all, the show is harmless but unpleasant.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A family from the future is trapped in the suburban present in this rehash of just about every teen show you've ever seen. Although Phil (Ricky Ullman) and his family have access to various futuristic gadgets (a brain switcher, an age transformer). The teen and his friends experience the ups and downs of their age group. For example, in one episode Phil gets a crush on the popular girl at school and has to learn about being himself, and in another story, Phil's best friend Keely (Alyson Michalka) uses the aging machine to see what she'll be like at 25 and has to learn about being herself. Predictably, Phil's sister Pim (Amy Bruckner) is a cute kid who is a complete brat and mean to everyone.
Is it any good?
Though the series attempts to impart a few life lessons, the situations are so clichhd and the settings so overly familiar that you can predict everything that's going to happen and everyone's reaction to it long before it occurs, and so the "lesson learned" impact fizzles out. And in case you weren't sure which parts are supposed to be funny, a barrage of sound effects is constantly going off during each episode, adding a cartoonish element that does nothing to enhance the viewing experience. There are far, far better ways to spend half an hour than watching this show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the lessons the show is trying to teach are derailed by Phil's sister's behavior. Can you look past her nastiness to see what the message is supposed to be? Is what she does funny or just mean? How would you deal with a sibling who acts like she does?
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