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Reed Between the Lines
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 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?