A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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: September 20, 2019
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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