Reed Between the Lines
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sitcom emphasizes strong family unit, some mature themes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series highlights the importance of family, communication, education, engaged parenting, and other positive values.
Positive Role Models
Alex and Carla are dedicated parents; the children are being raised to be respectful and educated.
Violence & Scariness
Disagreements are frequent, but dealt with patiently and respectfully.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual innuendo, implication of marital sexuality. Issues like sex addiction are superficially discussed. Women are briefly shown in bras and underwear.
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Products & Purchases
Contains references to shows like Yo Gabba Gabba! and other popular culture media.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are shown drinking wine and/beer over meals or during social events.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy series, which revolves around an upper-class African-American family, contains positive messages about education, family, and making healthy choices. It also contains some mature themes like divorce, dating, and psychological problems (including sexual dysfunction). Adult cast members are sometimes visible in their underwear, and wine and beer drinking is occasional among adults. All this being said, it is milder than most sitcoms, and older tweens/young teens should be able to handle it.
Where to Watch
Based on 3 parent reviews
I LOVE!! Reed between the lines
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What's the Story?
REED BETWEEN THE LINES stars Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Tracee Ellis Ross as Alex and Carla Reed, two successful professionals raising their three children, teenage twins Keenan (Nadji Anthony Jeter) and Kaci (Zoe Soul), and young daughter Alexis (Zoé Hendrix). While Alex, NYU English professor, teaches online courses from home, Carla works on building her therapy practice with the help of her eccentric receptionist Ms. Helen (Anna Maria Horsford), and acupuncturist Gabriella (Melissa De Sousa). Juggling their careers and their family life isn't always easy, but with a little patience and lots of love, they manage to keep things running smoothly.
Is It Any Good?
The BET original program feels like a modern-day version of The Cosby Show, thanks to its focus on educated, professional African-American characters and lots of positive messages about the importance of family, friendship, good parenting, and making healthy choices. However, these messages are weaved into some mature story lines about dating, divorce, and psychological dysfunction.
Nonetheless, it's definitely milder than many other sitcoms. It also moves away from using African-American stereotypes to get a laugh. For those who like family-centered comedies, this one will be sure to please.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the way different families are presented in the media. How realistic does their life seem? Is there anything about their lives that resembles your own? Do you think the way families look and behave on TV and in movies changes over the years?
How is this show different than or similar to other family-oriented sitcoms on television? Why is this show on BET and not a broadcast network?
- Premiere date: October 11, 2011
- Cast: Anna Maria Horsford, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tracee Ellis Ross
- Network: BET
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: July 2, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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