Out of everything we watched, these 5 Netflix Family movies and series were worth a blog post.

If you aren’t familiar with my “ratings” system, here it goes:

Astands for ABOVE THE AVERAGE MOVIE. When I pass this out, it is always well deserved. Several pieces of the movie stood out and for the life of me, I can’t find anything wrong about the film.

Bis BOUT AVERAGE. This generally means that the movie is kinda good. There might be one special quality that the producers, writers, cameramen hung their hat on and it stands out but most movies have something right?

C – means CLEARLY SOMETHING IS MISSING. Maybe the characters weren’t developed properly, time was too long, too little action but something is missing.

D – DAMN DAWG. *straight face* I’m serious, no blinking, no smiles, just damn dawg. If it makes you feel better, sub out dawg with the pronoun of your personal choice but keep the damn part.

FFuck THAT movie. Do I really need to go further? I literally don’t have enough time to waste on bad movies and probably walked out, got busy, etc.

Ready? The system? Oh, I came up with it as teacher back in the days and as a blogger-of-everything-ME, adapted it to fit movies, food, drink, places, people, everything.

Ready? Good, let’s get it…

B

Why:

You’re probably used to the typical “family dynamic” of a family movie. One, the fam is together and struggling financially OR two, family is separated and struggling financially. Main Event throws a little twist with this plot, grandmother. The fam is still going through the usual financial woes but grandmother stood out. Played by Tichina Arnold (Martin, Everybody Hates Chris), the relationship between she and Leo (the main kid and character) popped with vibe and humor. I’m an ol’ skool wrestling fan so the plot’s wrestling foundation was a plus. For my kids, that was the best part but there is more than wrestling. Leo is struggling to understand his mom’s absence while his single father works multiple jobs to cover for expenses, life and raising a son. Yo, check this out, there is NO time or energy spent on single dad finding love! I almost bumped it up to a B+ based on that alone! Leo finds a magical mask that allows him to wrestle like a professional, body slams, strong as an ox, somersaults, off-the-top-rope, he can do it all. He decides to use his “powers” to enter a local wrestling competition for the prize money and…

B+

Why:

The jokes, insinuations, comments and plot were a truly splendid combination. It is serious business when a brother start using descriptive words like “splendid”. *wink* So, the film is based on a book (I’ll probably NEVER read it but the movie was good. *shrugs*) and centers around neglectful, abusive parents and their children. The kids hatch a plot to become orphans and get better parents by sending their parents on a vacation filled with dangerous destinations. *eyes wide* Yes Gurl! The kids are basically trying to kill their parents and get better ones! As a parent, I couldn’t be more interested and the jokes were off the hook. As bad as they were, my wife and I loved the parents and two-weeks later; we are STILL repeating the jokes and actions to our own kids! *ROTFLMAO!*

C

Why:

I want to open by stating/writing publicly; my kids really, really like this show. Me? Not so much. Now the down side is the acting. It is horrible and that is considering the title character is a former professional wrestler. Nope, I would say the entire series is held up by the youngest daughter’s antics and the Big Show’s best friend,Terry. Big Show plays Paul Wight, former championship wrestler, that juggles retirement and integrating his eldest daughter with his current family. My kids, even the high school senior, enjoy the situations and shenanigans the daughter-from-a-previous-marriage finds herself in. The STAR is the youngest child. She dominates every scene.

B

Why:

DISCLAIMER: I’ve watched this series so much, it has grown on me and that may affect my review.

I’m keeping it 100 with you. (Isn’t that what the kids say when they’re being honest?) The first time I watched this series, we watched as a family over some holiday break. Since then, it became my kids’ Cosby Show. My 5th and 1st grader actively turn it to this Netflix series whenever they’re “just watching Netflix.” My wife liked the series as well because she grew up on Tia and Tamara, family series about adopted black twins with separate foster parents. I am a huuuuge fan of Loretta Devine and felt the show, its actors, script, HER role were beneath her. Fast forward, the show is good, very good. The episodes are strongly geared towards the black perspective and routinely incorporate issues in the black community. That should have caught my attention the first time around but I was too hung up on my ill-conceived idea of Loretta’s treatment to realize just how good these episodes are. That is what attracts my 8th grader, the subject material. The lion’s share of material involves the eldest sister, a Jr. High student rejecting the idea of her family moving to the countryside now that her NFL father has retired.

B+

Why:

Wow and whoa. This series is good enough that no one is allowed to watch episodes without the entire team present. Yup, that good and dare I say, that cute. The whole premise is freaking authentically awesome. A young middle school boy ,with social anxiety disorder, is starting his first week at public school. Who will be there to help him navigate the perilous journey of bullies, teachers, bullies, peer pressure and flat out NON-sense of intermediate education? DUDE! Dude is his emotional support animal, a small dog, and Dude gets into hot mess all by himself while voiced by Steve Zahn. All the animals are voiced by somebody and their interaction is hilarious with humans. The two child actors that take the cake are Sophie Kim and Mauricio Lara. Kim, born with Muscular Dystrophy , plays an uber confident, wheelchair warrior facing challenges of her own. Lara wraps it all neatly as the comic relief like side-kick.

B-

Why:

BOY HAVE WE LEARNED A LOT! It started as a practical joke on our own Mother Sweet. *winks* The kids and I acted interested in an animal show, step one. In case you’re wondering, yes, we knew good damn well she doesn’t like animal shows. That’s pretty much where the story stops. She left while the kids and I were blown away at the first episode and never even noticed she left! No, we weren’t trying to make her leave. No, we were NOT! We were just trying to be trifling and thought maybe we’d learn along the way. The series explores some mating rituals which definitely sparked some candid conversations but it was good. We ended up making it part of our lunch and a movie during the weekday Academy of Gratitude.

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