Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

100 Things to do Before High School

100 Things to do Before High School

Spring 2016 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV G

C.J. Parker is worried. She's in middle school and she is worried that when she heads to high school, everything will change. So she has come up with bucket list of things to accomplish before then.

Hilarity ensues.

This Nickelodeon sitcom melds silly and sweet scenes to create solid stories about navigating the tough tween/early teen years. And it does it with amusing, well-assembled episodes.

At the center of the show is C.J. (played by Isabela Moner). By her side for the shenanigans are her two pals - Fenwick (Jaheem Toombs) and Crispo (Owen Joyner). Throw in a wise and hip guidance counselor (played by Jack De Sena), and it's a good combination. In every episode there's a problem, there's an oh-no! moment of mishap and there's a solution.

In one episode, for example, the three friends decide to form a garage band as part of a school competition held by a teacher who is trying to keep the arts alive. There are bumps along the way, of course. But in the end, they wind up pulling it off against all odds - and a lack of electricity.

Another area of the show that deserves big applause: C.J. has supportive parents who can be totally dorky at times. (In other words, they ring true.) The good thing is that she talks with them. About everything.

For example, in one episode, when C.J. is shy about approaching a "gorgeous 8th grade boy," her parents help her come up with a plan for how she should try to do it. They listen. They help. They show that it's good to talk to your parents about whatever is going on your life. That's a valuable message.

With winning characters, light-hearted storylines and good social messages for tween viewers, "100 Things to Do Before High School" earns a recommendation.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, assistant director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, began her career at The Washington Post and went on to spend more than two decades with USA Today, where she covered pop culture topics. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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