The Haunted Hathaways

 
Charming family sitcom with great messages for all ages.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Nothing specifically educational, but the show includes positive messages about overcoming differences, self-esteem, and family unity.

Positive messages

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.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

This review of The Haunted Hathaways 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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Adult Written byadvocatewhat'sright August 1, 2013
age 8+
 

First review in August

This show is really boring and lame! It's just like Robot and Monster, overrated and dumb! I'm surprised the negative reviews haven't come to here yet! But just you wait, this here lame show is gonna get rated as disappointing, just like Robot and Monster. Nick needs to stop green-lighting these terrible and unfunny shows. Guess what's coming up next? The Rabbids Invasion! If you want an example of TRUE quality family entertainment, go watch Gordy. And don't believe the ratings for this show, or the negative ones for Gordy! It's a Shakespearean masterpiece compared to this show. In fact, I'm gonna change my rating for it! Gordy now gets 5/5, for being a million times better than this lame excuse for a show! They should've just renewed Victorious and T.U.F.F. Puppy instead of green-lighting this and Sanjay and Craig!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 5 year old Written byPoems Perfect December 12, 2013
age 18+
 

The may as well have called it: 'The Scary Spook Family'

I hate to admit that I actually generally found this show quite amusing. Possibly, the only annoying character would be Louie. However, I would never in a million years have cast my kids for any of the ghost family members because of the blatant racism. Firstly, the basic premise is that a BLACK family were cast as the SPOOKS. Secondly, there was an episode where Louie was dressed up as a BANANA. Thirdly, there was a scene where Louie's father decided to teach him how to possess an object...a fruit no less. But he didn't choose an apple or an orange, nor a strawberry or even a bunch of grapes but instead he chose a MELON. Now those of a younger age and who are generally naïve will be excused for not getting my point. But anyone else will understand the inferences as detailed above. And certainly anyone middle-aged upwards couldn't possibly be that obtuse to miss that whoever thought it anything but racist to label a black person a spook, dress a black person in a banana skin, have a black person feel right at home by possessing a water melon (cunningly using a cantaloupe instead just to be less obvious but lets face it - ALL melons are full of water). The script writers, producers, director are all having the subtlest of racist digs at the black family cast. The last laugh indeed is being had by these people and NOT any decent audience members. I could only DREAM that one of the show's makers will read this and understand that THIS black man was not stupid enough to miss the point and he ain't laughing
Written byAnonymous July 28, 2013
age 10+
 

"I've Seen This Before... Alien Abduction. No Doubt 'Bout It" - Dale Gribble

Not to be a "Dale Gribble Conspiracy Theorist" here, but how did they actually BECOME ghosts? Was it just "POOF. We're ghosts." or were they alive before? And how did they die in the first place? Leaves room for lots of crazy theories and CreepyPastas. I think I just ruined a fresh children's show for a lot of people.

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