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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 The Quad is a dramatic prime time series about students and faculty at a historically black college. Common subjects include academic politics, illicit romances, and even murder. There's some cursing ("bitch," "goddamn," "s--t"), and drinking, pot smoking, and sexual behavior are portrayed as standard parts of college life. Gun violence, dead bodies, and brutal injuries are shown. and social media, including Twitter and Snapchat are featured. The overall series also highlights some of the culture and traditions associated with historically black colleges and universities.
What's the story?
THE QUAD is a dramatic series that follows the administrators, faculty, and students of the fictitious Georgia A&M University. Newly elected GAMU President Dr. Eva Fletcher (Anika Noni Rose) is the newly elected President of the once-prestigious institution, but has to deal with shrinking donations, university politics, sexism, and a checkered past. While she struggles to work with band director Cecil "Art" Diamond (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) and Dean of Students Carlton Pettiway (E. Roger Mitchell), Athletic Director Coach Eugene Hardwick (Sean Blakemore) and faculty members like History Dean Ella Grace Caldwell (Jasmine Guy) try to support her efforts. Meanwhile, students like Dr. Fletcher's daughter Sydney (Jazz Raycole), her roommate Madison Kelly (Michelle Defraites), aspiring band member Noni Williams (Zoe Renee), rapper Cedric Hobbs (Peyton Alex), and football player BoJohn Folsom (Jake Allyn) embark on their own personal journeys as they experiences the highs and lows of college life.
Is it any good?
This soapy, dramatic series features lots of tension-filled moments as Eva Fletcher pushes against the long-standing male establishment, and students strive to make their mark. And the many romances and power maneuvers within the institution don't overshadow the underlying themes of tradition, pride, and empowerment that HBCUs are known for, highlighted by collegiate band performances and other spirited moments.
It's a work of fiction, but it does shed light on what real-life academic politics are like, including institutionalized sexism, hazing rituals, and putting the interests of donors ahead of the well-being of students. Drinking, partying, sexual activity and pot smoking are also characterized as typical part of university life. But for those mature enough to handle it, The Quad is an entertainingly edgy show about academic life from multiple points of view.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) like the one depicted on The Quad. Are the traditions associated with these schools any different from the traditions of other American colleges and universities?
Does The Quad offer a realistic view of what college life is like? Does everyone who goes to college or university have sex, drink or smoke pot? Why are these behaviors often portrayed as common college activities?