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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Raven's Home is a spin-off of Disney favorite That's So Raven, welcoming Raven-Symoné back to the small screen as a somewhat harried divorcée who's joined forces with her best friend, Chelsea, to raise their kids. Chelsea's continued naivety and Raven's clairvoyance -- and the shenanigans that her visions prompt -- still entertain even in their adult years, but the show gives just as much attention to the three kids and their various troubles, keeping the content varied and the appeal broad-based. Raven and Chelsea have different parenting styles, but they're both devoted moms and positive role models in their own way. The kid characters deal with various teen and tween issues, including the dangers of vaping.
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What's the story?
RAVEN'S HOME stars Raven-Symoné as Raven Baxter, all grown up and now the mother of 11-year-old twins, Booker (Isaac Brown) and Nia (Navia Robinson). When their respective marriages dissolve around the same time, Raven and her best friend, Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol), combine households and raise their kids -- the twins plus Chelsea's son, Levi (Jason Maybaum) -- together. This bustling home never lacks activity or its fair share of chaos, only some of which can be attributed to the three middle schoolers. For while Raven is all grown up, she's still Raven, whose glimpses of the future still lead her into wacky predicaments she doesn't foresee, and whose gift of clairvoyance she has unknowingly passed on to her son.
Is it any good?
One of Disney's favorite leading ladies makes a triumphant return to the screen in this spin-off that's excellent family entertainment. That's So Raven fans will find plenty more of what they loved about the original series in this sharply written sitcom that plays up the woes of adulting and tween trials in a surprisingly great balance. And now not only is Raven inspired to knee-jerk reactions to her visions, but her son is learning to cope with his unexpected new power as well, all to predictably hilarious results.
Physical comedy, hyperbole, quirkiness, and Raven-Symoné's remarkable charisma on-screen account for a lot of Raven's Home's appeal, but this isn't a superficial show. Many of its more subtle characteristics stand out as well, in particular the way it presents Raven and Chelsea's unique family structure. It's nontraditional and chaotic at times, but it works for them, and that's what matters, both in the real world and in the notoriously challenging endeavor of appealing to viewers of different ages. Happily Raven's Home hits the mark, putting itself in deserved contention for families' attention.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Raven's Home and other shows like it represent families. How does your family structure compare to the one in this series? Do you have friends you consider family?
In what ways does this show strive to appeal to the whole family? Does your family struggle to find entertainment you can enjoy together? What are some of your group favorites?
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