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 cartoon is squarely aimed at tweens who can't wait to be a little bit older. Featuring jokes that involve celebrity disses, subtle put downs, and even a few iffy words ("crap" is about as bad as it gets), it's not really for the younger set. The main characters' only goal seems to be to have as much fun -- and do as little homework -- as possible. Nevertheless, there are some decent take-aways about the importance of honesty, loyalty, and patience when it comes to friendship.
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What's the story?
THE WEEKENDERS seems a lot like the hit '90s sitcom Saved by the Bell, considering that it's about a group of cool kids -- Tino Tonitini (voiced by Jason Marsden), Lor McQuarrie (Grey DeLisle), Carver Descartes (Phil LaMarr), and Petrotishkovna "Tish" Katsufrakis (Kath Soucie) -- who hang out in southern California trying to find the shortest possible route to the most awesome weekend fun. Each episode starts off on a Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday evening. In between, the gang heads to the beach, the movies, and the arcade where they find a good time and simultaneously learn about themselves and about friendship.
Is it any good?
While The Weekenders certainly offers some laughs, they're often at the expense of someone else -- mostly because Tino, Carver, Tish, and Lor are obsessed with looking cool. In one episode, for example, Tish has styled her hair in a way that the group disapproves of, so they try to hide her away from her classmates to "save" her from embarrassment and humiliation. That may be an accurate reflection of how some teens act, but it's not the best message about what really matters in friendships (true friends shouldn't care what you look like).
Yes, they're a bit shallow (and they could use some friendship tips). But tween viewers who are savvy enough to look past all that will hopefully get the jokes about the petty nature of popularity and coolness and may enjoy the misadventures of their cartoon peers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendships. What does it mean to be a good friend? Have kids ever felt caught in the middle between two friends? How did that make them feel? What's peer pressure, and how does it affect friendship? How do you think friendships might change during the teen years?
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