The Haunted Hathaways
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Charming family sitcom with great messages for all ages.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Nothing specifically educational, but the show includes positive messages about overcoming differences, self-esteem, and family unity.
The show celebrates nontraditional family structures as illustrated by two devoted single parents and their respective broods. It also explores themes like compromise, fitting in with peers, and embracing change, all with messages that reflect self-awareness and tolerance. Though the cast includes white and African-American characters, racial differences are never an issue in the stories.
Positive Role Models
Both Michelle and Ray are great parents who set positive examples for their kids to follow. Though their situation isn't ideal, they make it work for everyone's sake and expect the same from their kids. There's often some playful rivalry between siblings and among the four kids, but it's always light-hearted and never does any real damage.
Violence & Scariness
Physical comedy is funnier than it is worrisome. There are some surprises at the hands of the ghosts, who pop in and out of scenes and can change their appearances and rearrange their body parts, but it's not meant to be scary.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Haunted Hathaways is an entertaining sitcom that boasts positive, worry-free family entertainment. The story is fresh, the characters are delightful, and the positive messages it sends about families and relationships are worthwhile for viewers of any age. Although three of the main characters are ghosts, they're funnier than they are scary, so even young kids can watch without worry. There are two examples of exemplary single parents, and it's through their influence that the kids learn to compromise for the benefit of the group. This likable series is a fun spin on the traditional family sitcom.
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The Haunted Hathaways
Based on 12 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
Michelle Hathaway (Ginifer King) and her daughters, Taylor (Amber Montana) and Frankie (Breanna Yde), aren't sure what to expect when they relocate to New Orleans following Michelle's divorce, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise awaiting them in their new home, where they're met by a family of ghosts. Ray Preston (Chico Benymon) and his sons, Miles (Curtis Harris) and Louie (Benjamin Flores Jr.) have haunted the house for years, and they've never met a resident they couldn't scare away, but the Hathaways put up a fight and refuse to give in. Eventually the two sides agree to a truce and vow to share the house, but that doesn't stop the hijinks as these two families learn to live alongside each other.
Is It Any Good?
THE HAUNTED HATHAWAYS is a charming sitcom that touches on issues many families can relate to, like sibling rivalry, coping with unexpected change, and being open to new ideas. The supernatural aspect notwithstanding, this could be the story of any family, whether single- or two-parent, large or small, blended or not. The characters' interplay yields plenty of laughs -- thanks to a talented cast and comical set-ups that play on the ghosts' special tricks -- but there are just as many heartwarming moments that extol positive family relationships.
But perhaps the best attributes of The Haunted Hathaways exist in what's missing from the show. There's no strong language, no suggestive dialogue, and (even with ghosts in the mix), no real scares. Despite the obvious racial and gender divide among the characters, these differences don't come into play, so stereotypes are nonexistent. What's more, as the characters evolve from cautiously tolerating each other to building real relationships that transcend their differences, they rewrite the concept of what defines and unites a family.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what defines a family. Do members of a family always have to be biologically related to have an emotional connection? How has our culture's impression of a family changed in recent years?
Kids: How do the characters relate to each other beyond their obvious differences? What unique traits do they come to like in each other? How are our lives enriched by being around people who are different from us?
Do you like to be scared when you're watching a show or a movie? What kind of content crosses the line for you?
- Premiere date: July 13, 2013
- Cast: Amber Montana, Chico Benymon, Ginifer King
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: February 4, 2023
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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