Ruby & the Rockits

Common Sense Media says

Upbeat take on family dysfunction is funny and endearing.

Age

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Gallaghers struggle with issues similar to those of many families, including differing opinions, unfulfilled expectations, and anger. But through it all they strive to communicate and to consider one others’ feelings.

Positive role models

Ruby’s aunt and uncle are a loving couple who welcome her into their lives when her newly found father shirks his responsibility to her. That said, while David has a difficult time seeing past his own ego to learn what it takes to be a parent, he expresses his feelings for Ruby in meaningful -- if unconventional -- ways. The newly reunited father and daughter make compromises and take steps to build a relationship. Ruby herself sometimes pushes boundaries -- driving a car without a license, for instance.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

It’s said that a teen has a crush on his pretty cousin, but the infatuation is very innocent.

Language

Occasional use of words like "boobs."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional episodes have included instances of underage drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this upbeat sitcom’s generally age-appropriate content makes it a fine choice for older tweens and teens. The mildly dysfunctional Gallagher clan deals with common family issues like differences of opinion and effective communication, but the show’s lighthearted spin makes it all relatable and even fun. Occasional episodes touch on issues like underage drinking and driving without a license, but overall the show is one of ABC Family's milder offerings. Adults (especially those old enough to recall The Partridge Family) will get an extra kick out of David Cassidy’s portrayal of a singer who refuses to acknowledge that his heyday is past.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Former ‘80s rock star David Gallagher (David Cassidy) gets the surprise of his life when teenage Ruby (Alexa Vega) shows up and claims to be his daughter. Since the prospect of child-rearing doesn’t jive with his efforts to revive his musical glory days, he looks for help from his more responsible brother/former band mate, Patrick (Cassidy's real-life half-brother, Patrick Cassidy). Patrick and his wife, Audie (Katie Amanda Keane), welcome Ruby with open arms, and she finds fast friends in their two sons, Jordan (Austin Butler) and Ben (Kurt Doss). But Ruby’s deepest desire is to have a relationship with her father, and it will take compromise and forgiveness on everyone’s part to become a true family.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

RUBY & THE ROCKITS is an unexpected gem among contemporary family sitcoms. The story puts a fresh spin on the concept of family drama, and it’s fun to assume that David and Patrick’s opposing personalities might be inspired by the Cassidy brothers’ real-life experiences. Vega shines as spunky, optimistic Ruby, and the rest of the cast rounds out a well-scripted series that reminds viewers that every family has an element of dysfunction.

What’s more, the show manages to work in some positive messages without coming across as hokey. In order to become the type of family Ruby envisions, for instance, David and Patrick must set aside their personal differences and put her needs first. And Ruby, too, realizes that she has to bend a bit on her high standards and appreciate her father's efforts. With its largely worry-free content and take-aways like these, it’s easy to like this fun, family-friendly series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about making appropriate media choices. Tweens: What are some of your favorite TV shows? Have you seen shows or movies that you think are inappropriate for your age? How did you come across them?

  • How does our society view celebrities? What gives some stars more staying power than others? Should celebrities be held to a higher standard than we are because of their status?

  • How do the Gallaghers’ family struggles compare to your own? Is their situation believable? Which character do you most identify with? How does your family work through communication issues and differences of opinion?

TV details

Cast:Alexa Vega, David Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Ruby & the Rockits was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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Kid, 9 years old March 21, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

how could you miss the language!!

The language is not very strong, but there is cursing that includes a**, h**l, and b*****(only in TV-14 episodes) Each episode has a very infrequent use of these. There is a INNOCENT crush throughout the show. I will tell you the truth. I usaully hate shows like this (hannah montana, wizards of waverly place, etc). Most of the characters in the show are generally good role models.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Adult Written bywharper September 29, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Perfect for all, say above 4. VERY indicative of real familes

Love it. Highlight of the week. wonderful singing, comedic talent, innocent, speaks to all families, good, clean, fun. Just what the Dr. ordered. Not to mention the cohesion of all 4 Cassidy Brothers and a wonderful example that that gives, of strong, bonded, familial unit!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old September 13, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Language: A** Sex: A boy has a huge crush on his pretty cousin. Good show, but gets boring. Nice to watch, though.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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