Reed Between the Lines



Sitcom emphasizes strong family unit, some mature themes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


Disagreements are frequent, but dealt with patiently and respectfully.


Some sexual innuendo, implication of marital sexuality. Issues like sex addiction are superficially discussed. Women are briefly shown in bras and underwear.

Not applicable

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Anna Maria Horsford, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tracee Ellis Ross
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Reed Between the Lines 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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Parent Written byShannaShanna April 20, 2012

I LOVE!! Reed between the lines

I love this show and I love the roles of each actor. I especially like that it touches family and social issues
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byCompassion January 11, 2012


I love this show, I only hope that it will be watched so that it will not get cancelled. What happened to all the Black TV shows? I hardly watch TV anymore, I can't relate!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old January 1, 2012

Reed between the lines

Reed Between The Lines teaches a lot of positive messages. It takes you back to the Cosby show. The show shows you real life situations. There are parents in the show which mean the kids are very responsible. The show may have some inappropriate stuff where Carla and Alex might be kissing or making out. They don't say any bad words at all but, the kids may say the word stupid sometimes. The adults may be drinking beer or wine sometimes. Most of the time it show situations like divorce, love, and bills. Some of these things may be a reason why it shows real life situations. The show does teach lessons like Kaci and Keenan was having a party and a girl wanted to make out with Keenan but he was responsible and he didn't do it. He told an adult which was the right thing to do. This is what shows that the show is responsible. This show is great for most families to see.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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