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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a very mild, but charming comedy with very little to offend the sensibilities of anyone in the family, from the youngest to Grandma and Grandpa. There is no cursing, nudity, sex, or smoking. Drugs and alcohol are not used onscreen, but may be referred to as shorthand to explain why a villain is villainous, or in the context of crime and justice. Characters, including young children, may be the subject of very mild menace. Dire acts such as death may be referred to onscreen, and there is an occasional gun brandished, but no one is really hurt and we see very little violence onscreen.
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What's the story?
Created by the executive producer of Touched by an Angel, SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED stars Eric Mabius as Oliver, the leader of a stalwart postal detective team in the Dead Letter Office. Oliver and his cohorts Shane (Kristin Booth), Norman (Geoff Gustafson), and Rita (Crystal Lowe) are serious about connecting the messages sent by people all across the country to their destination. And each week, a different Dead Letter leads them into another mystery and often a famous guest star, like Valerie Harper or Della Reese. Sometimes the letters lead the team to some very strange places. But the team wouldn't have it any other way.
Is it any good?
Anyone who found creator Martha Williamson's 1990's drama Touched by an Angel unbearably saccharine is likely to give this one a miss. And that's a real shame. Because though Signed, Sealed, Delivered does have the kind of mild thrills and everyone-hugs-and-learns-at-the-end plotting that older viewers will remember from the sitcoms of an earlier television age, it also boasts a pleasantly dry absurdity. Here's an exchange between Oliver and Norman as they race to stop a crime with a concerned grandma. Oliver tells grandma not to worry: "We're uniquely gifted postal workers." "With a license to deliver," chimes in Norman. "And a deep faith in the power of the written word," agrees Oliver. "I was hoping that was just a cover story," says Grandma. "Oh no. We're the real deal," says Norman, affecting a Men in Black facial expression. Hee hee!
A comic drama about a bunch of postal detectives who unravel mysteries for grandmas, army vets and frustrated singer/dancers sure sounds hokey. But Signed, Sealed, Delivered is in on the joke, and that, plus the fresh, funny writing and charming actors, makes for a delightful show that's fun for all generations. It's nothing new, but with a comedy this comfy, it doesn't have to be.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about who Signed, Sealed, Delivered is supposed to appeal to. What age group do you think this show is aimed at? Is it just one age group, or several?
Watch an episode of Touched by an Angel. How is Signed, Sealed, Delivered like this show from the same creator? How is it different?
Do you think this show is a realistic look at the post office's inner workings? Is it supposed to be? How do you know?
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