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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 this sitcom focuses on an adult mother-daughter relationship that evolves while both attend college at the same time. Both women are strong and self-confident, but they focus more on finding boyfriends and husbands than on their actual grades. Nikki often manipulates situations to get her way, especially with men. Parents also need to know that both women, who are full-figured, present very body-positive messages. That said, some of those messages come along with some strong sexual innuendo.
What's the story?
THE PARKERS centers on Nikki Parker (Mo'Nique) and her daughter, Kim (Countess Vaughn), two sassy women who are both college co-eds at Santa Monica College in California. A spin-off of the hit sitcom Moesha, The Parkers begins with Nikki deciding to move in with Kim because she feels that her daughter isn't yet ready to live on her own. Leaning on eccentric girlfriend Stevie Van Lowe (Jenna von Oy) and ladies' man Thaddeus "T" Radcliffe (Ken Lawson), Kim gets used to her mother's presence in what was supposed to be her newfound independent adult life. Meanwhile, with the help of loyal friend Andell Wilkerson (Yvette Wilson), Nikki must adjust to the fact that her daughter is now an adult. Kim and Nikki spend a lot of time arguing, but over time they realize that not only are they mother and daughter, but they're also friends who can support each other through a variety of adventures. Many of these escapades revolve around Kim's dating experiences and Nikki's endless pursuit of Stanley Oglevee (Dorien Wilson), a SMC professor who spends his time openly rejecting her advances.
Is it any good?
The show's purpose is simply to be entertaining; as a result, it's a mix of silly humor, life lessons, and contradictory messages. Nikki's brazen behavior, while suggesting strength and self-confidence, also makes her seem desperate for a man. She's there to support her daughter, but her manipulative attempts to secure Professor Oglevee's affections don't always make her the best role model. That said, the show does have some consistent positive themes, including a strong message about being comfortable with yourself regardless of clothing size or body type.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it's like going to college later in life. What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to school when you're older? Is it ever too late to get a college degree? Too early? Families can also discuss the relationship between television and body image. Why are there so few full-figured women on television who consider themselves attractive?