Family comedy finds laughter in trying situations.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Strength, survival, family, and friendship are major themes in the show. Marriage, infidelity and divorce are also prominently discussed. One episode focuses specifically on helping the victims of Katrina.

Positive role models

Strong women are in the forefront, but there is a limited presence of ethnic/racial minorities. A teen character gets pregnant; other characters have a history of infidelity.


Light pushing, shoving, and pinching occur during rare catfights. One specific episode features a violent Halloween prank (but no blood or gore is shown).


Occasional kissing and hugging is visible. Dating is frequently discussed. Issues like pregnancy, infidelity, etc. are not discussed in a sexual manner.


Reba says "crap" sometimes.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The consumption of wine, beer, and mixed drinks are visible. One cast member develops a drinking problem and goes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Several episodes feature adult characters getting drunk. The use of anti-depressants is also discussed.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main character, Reba, has gone through a divorce prompted by her husband's affair with a co-worker. Marriage, infidelity, and divorce are often discussed. Over the years issues like teen pregnancy, alcoholism, and depression also become major themes in the show. Reba herself can have a sharp tongue (“crap”), but her heart is always in the right place.

What's the story?

In REBA, Reba McEntire plays a sassy divorced mom trying to make peace with her circumstances while raising her kids, taking care of business, and not allowing her ex's affairs to get her down. The winning nature of the supporting cast, including daughter Cheyenne (Joanna Garcia), her dopey husband Van (Steve Howey), Reba's ex-husband Brock (Christopher Rich), and his loopy wife Barbara Jean (played for laughs by Melissa Peterman), also make for some lively and funny moments.

Is it any good?


Reba plays to an audience that can relate to, or even feel comforted by, her less-than-perfect situation by offering a down-home view of Middle America, complete with cluttered kitchens, cheating men, old-fashioned ideals, and divorce. It also incorporates some very modern humor, and features a few characters that reflect a more contemporary southern heritage, thus giving it wider viewer appeal.

It’s definitely funny, but it also touches on some serious topics like teen pregnancy, alcoholism, and depression, in a way that is both thoughtful and responsible. As a result, the overall series offers a fun and positive experience that reminds you that laughter may not fix your problems, but it may help you survive them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what survival means. How does Reba make her situation work for her, and how is her hardship evident? Does laughing in the face of problems like teen pregnancy, alcoholism, and misfortune really help?

TV details

Cast:Christopher Rich, Joanna Garcia, Reba McEntire
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Reba was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byarthur16morgana January 14, 2011


me and my parents and my 15 and 13 year old friend love this show. its hilarious and really it
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old December 11, 2010

Common Sense reviewed this show WRONG.

Me and my mother love this show.. and it's not that bad. Case closed. ;)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTsion June 4, 2010
REBA was on for six seasons, from 2001 to 2007, but somehow I had never seen it. I caught it on cable a while ago and was instantly hooked. REBA is a show that is truly family-oriented. It's always hilarious and laugh-out-loud hysterical, but also touching and inspiring. But, that's not to say that there are some issues with it. The main plot of REBA is about how Reba's (Reba) dysfunctional family barely functions after she divorces from her husband Brock. As their marriage was deteriorating, Brock had an affair with Barbra Jean, a co-worker, that resulted in pregnancy. So, he divorced Reba and marries Barbra Jean. However, the three still live in a close, happy existance, and no pain or regret from the divorce is ever shown. Brock is still close to Reba, and Reba and Barbra Jean are friends. Also, Reba's daughter is pregnant out of wedlock at 17, and ends up marrying her boyfriend Van out of necessity (because he fathered her child.) Thus, some of the overriding themes in REBA are as such: Have an affair or get pregnant out of wedlock, because you can either: 1.) Get a divorce, or 2.) Get married, and live happily ever after in a big happy family. Make sure your kids are mature enough to separate this fiction from reality before they watch. On the other hand, the individual characters in REBA care about each other and sacrifice for each other (after the preliminary affairs and cheatinig that have no apparent side effects.) There is also some slapstick humor and some innuendo. REBA is a great show for the family, but make sure kids are mature enough to realize that it fantasizes divorce and pregnancy.
What other families should know
Great role models


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