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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 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.
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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.
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