Life with Derek is a half hour sit-com on the Disney Channel. The series is about a blended family, but it’s not The Brady Brunch. The main character is Casey, a fifteen year old girl whose mother remarries. Casey, her little sister, and her mother move into the new husband George’s house and find themselves sharing the space with two brothers and an additional little sister.
The oldest brother is Derek. He’s also fifteen. Both Casey and Derek are used to ruling the house and they clash. In one early show the kids bug each others rooms to spy on each other. There are a lot of underhanded deals and trickery. But even with the fighting, there are some nice moments as these two families form their own family and began to care for each other. In one show Derek exposes that Casey’s boyfriend is dating several soccer team sisters. He doesn’t do it in the most mature way, but we know his heart was mainly in the right place. He was worried about his sister.
The show covers the high school life of Derek and Casey, too. Casey talks to the school counselor quite a bit as she deals with her new house, new school, and new family. She develops a crush on Derek’s best friend which also leads to a lot of complications.
The show really isn’t for younger viewers. The boys do talk about girls. The girls talk about boys. The kids date, and kiss. In one episode, Casey tries to get a video game banned. She finds it demeaning towards women because of the scantily clad women in the game. There is a mention of a “topless” level. When Casey actually plays the game she finds it empowering and has the girls at school sign a petition to the makers of the game asking them to be more respectful of women.
As in a lot of shows for kids these days, the parents seem fairly clueless and easily manipulated. The kids are in charge. The parents however, are trying, and the viewer witnesses the parents struggles as they all adjust to this large blended family.
Positive TV Influences on Your Family