Democracy Dies in Darkness


What to watch with your kids: ‘Freaky Friday,’ ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’ and more

August 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Freaky Friday (TV-G)

Age 6+

Musical reboot’s heartwarming themes are great for families.

Freaky Friday” is a family-friendly musical-style reimagining of the story about a mother and daughter who switch bodies after some accidental magic. Song-and-dance numbers are delightful additions to the plot (showcasing the cast’s talents), and the story carefully explores serious emotions like grief after a loved one’s death. Both teenage Ellie (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and her mom (Heidi Blickenstaff) have some awkward moments related to each other’s romantic lives, but they’re handled more with humor than suggestion. A teen manipulates peers and adults to maintain her social dominance, but ultimately this delightful, energetic movie has exceptional messages about communication, honesty and respect for others. (90 minutes)

Available on the Disney cable channel.

Lily James stars in “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” (Kerry Brown/Netflix)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (TV-13)


Age 12+

Book-based post-WWII romance has some war violence.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” is a period drama/romance set in 1946 Great Britain. Based on the best-selling novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, the story follows a young London writer named Juliet Ashton (Lily James) to Guernsey Island (in the English Channel just off the coast of Normandy), which was occupied by Nazi forces throughout World War II. The movie dramatizes the extraordinary plight of the Guernsey citizens and their resilience during the war, as well as its aftermath. Juliet’s experiences there both surprise and profoundly impact her. Flashbacks include brief scenes of wartime action, menacing Nazi officials, a city in ruins, a body, a hospital ward and a Nazi march. A short bar fight occurs as the story unfolds. Characters drink in multiple scenes; one man is drunk, and another smokes cigarettes. Language includes “b------,” “a--” and “slut.” Although there are references to war’s cruelties and sad events, the movie offers a heartfelt glimpse into one of history’s heart-rending events. (123 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (TV-14)


Age 14+

Book-based teen rom-com has some language, racy talk.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is based on the popular same-named YA novel by Jenny Han. It tells the story of Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a Korean American teen whose secret letters to her five crushes are sent out by her well-meaning little sister. While Lara Jean is mortified and frightened, the event ultimately helps the mostly timid, lonely girl realize her worth, deal with lingering grief over her mother’s death, and discover that a real romance is better than a fantasy one. Though there’s no nudity and no sexual activity beyond kissing/embracing, teen sexuality is a frequent subject of conversation. Characters talk about having/not having sex, safe sex, virginity, menstruation, condoms, etc. A dad drinks wine, and underage kids at a party appear to be drinking alcohol. Occasional swearing includes “slut,” “a--,”
“d---” and “bulls---.” Despite the sexual references and swearing, there’s an innocence about the film that keeps it wholesome and relatable for most teens. (99 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

Created by Matt Groening of “The Simpsons,” “Disenchantment” is an animated series about an unorthodox princess (voice of Abbi Jacobson). (The ULULU Company/Netflix)

Disenchantment (TV-14)


Age 14+

Series from “The Simpsons” creator has strong women, violence.

Disenchantment” is an animated series from “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening about a princess (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) in a magical kingdom who rejects social expectations. Princess Bean is a strong, nonstereotypical character looking for an authentic life. But she’s also a problem drinker who uses alcohol to suppress her feelings and frequently turns to violence to realize her goals, like when she tries to tempt a prince into throwing himself off a ship to his death. In fact, violence is surprisingly intense and frequent, though it’s played for laughs: Characters fall off cliffs and are dispatched by poisons, stabbed, clapped into a cage and drained of blood. (Everyone’s okay in the next scene, of course.) Sexual content is less problematic, although there are rude jokes, like one in which a man has sex with seals he mistakes for mermaids. Characters drink at parties and dinners, sometimes getting sloppy, and a main character frequently smokes cigarettes. Language is mild: “hell,” “damn,” “dong.” (10 approximately half-hour episodes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.

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