Tween comedy gets caught up in superficial stuff.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Activist Zach is the only character with a moral conscience.

Not applicable

Frequent preteen discussions of dating and kissing; 13-year-old Geena dates high-school guys.

Not applicable

Like most Nick shows for preteens, everyone has a cell phone, and peer pressure to dress cool and look "perfect" is evident.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show, while it has its share of questionable influences, represents a fairly realistic portrayal of life through the eyes of a junior high student -- including awkward moments that are so huge that they're overwhelming. The main character is introspective and artistic, while her peers think only about dating (one goes out with high-school guys), kissing, and how they appear to others.

What's the story?

UNFABULOUS models life's awkward moments in the fictional junior high school setting that is Addie Singer's (Emma Roberts) life.

Is it any good?


Tween viewers can benefit from seeing a representative of their age group fumbling her way through social situations. But whether Unfabulous is the type of norm that parents want to influence their kids is questionable. While Roberts (niece of Julia Roberts) is talented and a rather smart actress, the circumstances of her character are trite, shallow, and confusing -- which, some may argue, is precisely what "drama" is at this age. Addie constantly reflects on the daily occurrences in her life, in which her still-developing social skills often wreak havoc on her sense of serenity. But she's surrounded by questionable influences.

Her friend Geena (Malese Jow) talks about having had her first kiss with a boy who "tasted like onions and bubblegum." No wonder Addie says she "wanted to get her first kiss over with"! Yikes. Addie's other sidekick, Zach (Jordan Calloway), is a "nerd" who plays in the school band and "marches to the beat of his own drum." There's also Addie's older brother, Ben (Tadhg Kelly), whose hero in high school was a guy who dated five girls at one time -- not exactly a role model himself. Parents will want to decide whether these subtle messages are what should be shaping their kids' view of reality -- and whether this is a scene that tweens feel reflects their own experiences.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the messages in the show. Are they mixed, or do tweens feel represented by this character? What are the benefits of having a variety of friends with different interests? Is the sibling relationship typical?

TV details

Cast:Emma Roberts, Jordan Calloway, Malese Jow
Topics:Friendship, High school
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Unfabulous was written by

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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 bycommon_sense_user_12 April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written bydragonflame22 April 9, 2008


first up it rocks!!! second emma roberts is my cousin she rocks. i support her full way! this show is the best show on earth!!! I love it!! if they stop this show i will run a debate!
Teen, 14 years old Written byWinterFresh13 April 9, 2008

Really Awesome for girls my age

I love this show and I try to never miss it. It's not bad like CSM says and it's really cute. There is no pressure to be perfect. Addie puts that pressure on herself and usually learns her lesson. I love it alot.


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