It's a Dog's Life With Bill Farmer (Unrated)

Streaming

Age 6+

Remarkable dogs helping humans are fun for family viewing.

It’s a Dog’s Life With Bill Farmer” is a heartwarming series about amazing canines who perform unique jobs for humans. Disney voice actor Bill Farmer hosts the show, using his work as the voices of iconic characters Pluto and Goofy as a segue to the show’s focus on remarkable animals. Viewers will see dogs in action as service animals, wildlife companions in zoos and professional sniffers in a variety of capacities. The show inspires awareness of different jobs for humans, as well as for dogs, and it demonstrates creative ways that people (and dogs) solve problems. With family-friendly content and lots of sweet messages about the bond between people and their favorite critters, this series is a fun pick for watching with all of your family members, furry and otherwise. (10 roughly half-hour episodes)

Available on Disney Plus.

Scoob! (PG)

Streaming

Age 7+

Fun Scooby reboot has goofy high jinks, scenes of peril.

Scoob!” is an animated reboot of the Scooby-Doo franchise. It starts out as an origin story and then follows the gang on their adventures as teens. Starring the voices of Zac Efron (Fred), Amanda Seyfried (Daphne), Gina Rodriguez (Velma), Will Forte (Shaggy), and Frank Welker (who’s been voicing Scooby since 1969), it’s a funny, family-friendly mystery that’s more appropriate for younger viewers than the live-action films from the early 2000s. That said, there are several scenes of peril and pursuit, including creepy “ghosts”; a giant, murderous three-headed Cerberus monster; and encounters with a nasty villain and his shape-shifting robot minions. There are also a couple of sad scenes: one in which it seems like a long-lost friend is beyond saving and another in which it appears that one member of the Scooby gang may be permanently separated from his friends. Language includes frequent use of insults like “imbecile,” “moron,” “stupid,” “suck-up,” and “pinhead,” and there are some comments along the lines of “she’s pretty hot.” But with its goofy premise; messages of perseverance, courage, and teamwork; and a series of punny/wink-wink jokes for parents, it’s an easy pick for families with elementary-school kids..
(94 minutes)

Available via premium video-on-demand to rent or own.

Stargirl (TV-14)

Streaming

Age 12+

Fun DC superhero show has fantasy violence, strong language.

“Stargirl” is a fun series about a young superhero (Brec Bassinger) from the DC Comics universe. It has lots of both teen drama and fantasy violence — including car crashes, explosions and people being thrown across rooms, stabbed and more (bloody wounds are visible). Language can also be strong, with words like “a--,” “hell,” “b----” and
“c--p.” A young woman is called a “slut” by school bullies. Boyfriends and dating are mentioned. Adults drink alcohol on occasion. A vintage Cadillac is featured throughout the series, and logos for products like Smart Water and Ocean Spray are displayed prominently. The show offers positive gender representation and has themes of courage, curiosity, perseverance and teamwork. (45-minute episodes)

Available Tuesday on DC Universe.

Never Have I Ever (TV-14)

Streaming

Age 14+

Drinking, language, sex talk in fresh, charming teen series.

Never Have I Ever” is a series (co-created by Mindy Kaling) about a teen girl who’s mourning the death of her father. Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) learns to be more emotionally honest and to accept her grief as she navigates typical teen problems related to friendship, school and romance. Expect lots of mature talk about sex (referred to as “boinking” and “boning,” etc.). Teens scheme to have sex, but no one actually winds up having it. They do kiss, flirt and talk about boyfriends, girlfriends and romance. They also talk about characters’ looks and bodies, including a scene in which girls say a boy looks like he’s “smuggling a pepper grinder” under his pants. In another scene, girls use stuffed animals to demonstrate sexual positions, which they name: “reverse cowgirl,” “love seat,” etc. One teen struggles to come out to family and friends. Teens also drink to the point of acting foolish and making mistakes, winding up with an injury that requires hospitalization. A girl urges her therapist to prescribe drugs including Klonopin and Paxil (the therapist doesn’t). Violence is infrequent, but there are repeated flashbacks of a character’s death (no blood or gore), and a girl hits a boy during an argument. Language is frequent and includes “s---,” “hell,” “damn,” and “goddamn.” A boy calls a group of girls
“unf---able,” and a girl calls her mom a “b----.” Nonetheless, the multicultural group of teens in this show are capable of great integrity and self-control: They make mistakes and learn from them, they treat others unkindly and then regret their actions and make amends. They also learn how to accept each other and live more authentic, happy lives.
(10 half-hour episodes)

Available on Netflix.

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