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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zoe Valentine is a drama series about a teen whose life and self-identity change dramatically when her older sister dies. The story involves serious themes like grief and its effect on the family structure, depression, bullying, and homosexuality, all of which is explored with honesty and hopefulness. Zoe is an excellent role model for tweens and teens. She copes with difficult emotions and uncertain social changes with grace and growing confidence, and she never lets people influence her in a negative way. A teen teases a classmate whom he presumes is gay, and another hides his homosexuality out of fear of other people's reactions. Expect some physical contact between teens (kissing, making out) and the occasional sexual term like "wet dream."
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What's the story?
In ZOE VALENTINE, a shy teen (Anna Cathcart) finds herself thrust into the spotlight after her older and more popular sister, Cleo (Malia Tyler), dies of cancer. As Zoe leans on her best friend, Brody (Diego Velazquez), and tries to find a new normal, she's surprised by the attention she gets from Cleo's boyfriend, Isaac (Carter Southern), and her callous social rival, Allison (Brighton Sharbino), who hopes to capitalize on Cleo's absence and claim Isaac as her own. As Zoe tries to find her own identity while discovering surprising new things about her sister, her relationships with her friends and family become even more important to her.
Is it any good?
Insightful and heartfelt, this drama series watches Zoe's metamorphosis from a shy, introspective teen to a confident young woman. Cleo's death changed a lot of aspects of Zoe's life, making her an object of curiosity at school and redefining her role in her family structure. The fallout isn't all welcome, and it accelerates Zoe's maturation, but overall she proves herself capable of the change.
Zoe Valentine deals thoughtfully with serious issues like death, loss, family discord, bullying, and homosexuality. In every case, Zoe emerges as a positive model of kindness, respect, and loyalty. She keeps others' secrets and picks up the slack at home, redefining her priorities as her family's and friends' needs change but always staying true to her own moral compass.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about coping with loss and other difficult emotions. Why is it important to face the things that bother us rather than letting them linger? How do challenges help us to grow? What are some healthy outlets for emotions?
How do Zoe's friendships help support her in different ways? As her social circle grows, what effect does it have on her longest-running relationship with Brody? Is it OK that our friendships evolve as we grow and change?
How does Zoe demonstrate tolerance and compassion? Why are these character strengths so important to her in Zoe Valentine? How do her actions cast an even more critical light on those of her peers who are less kind?
- Premiere date: January 16, 2019
- Cast: Anna Cathcart, Diego Velazquez, Carter Southern
- Networks: YouTube, Brat
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character strengths: Compassion
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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