Project MC2: Smart is the New Cool

Project mc2 logo

Project mc2 logoDisclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team and occasionally receive access and goodies from Netflix to facilitate my posts. But everything I write is my own.


Project MC² is a new live-action Netflix original aimed at tweens (mostly girls). Season 1, which consists of only three episodes, introduces us to super-smart teenage spy McKeyla McAlister and three equally super-smart, science-loving girls she reluctantly brings into an all-woman spy organization, NOV8 (Innovate), which just happens to be run by Mc2’s mother.

When I sat down to watch the show with my very own super-smart tween girl, I was a little skeptical. I’d lost a few bets with her and she’d forced me to watch episodes of a number of other shows aimed at teens (again, mostly girls). I can’t remember (or subconsciously blocked out) the names of those shows, but what I do remember is that they were horrid, filled with ditzy, stereotyped characters, poor writing, and horrid acting. So you can imagine my delight….

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Dragons: Race to the Edge–More Than Just Another Hiccup.

dragons race to the edge

Disclaimer: I’m part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, but I’ve been a Netflix power user for years and it would take a lot more than a few free movies to influence my opinions.

When my kids were young, say under 10, it was easy to get them to snuggle up somewhere cozy and read stories together or watch movies or special TV shows. Some of my happiest memories with all three of them involved exactly that. Over the years, I read hundreds of books—doing special voices and accents for each character—including every single one of the “Harry Potter” and “Series of Unfortunate Events” books.

I also dug into some timeless classics like Beverly Cleary’s “Henry and Ribsy” books and Eleanor Cameron’s “Mushroom Planet” series, and some of my childhood favorites, from “The Phantom Tollbooth” and “A Wrinkle in Time” to “Mr. Poppers Penguins” and everything ever written by Lloyd Alexander and Roald Dahl. The kids read to me as well, practicing their decoding when they were first learning letters and words, picking out their own favorites and the library, reading their assigned books from school, re-reading some of the books I’d read to them (and doing their own voices), then making their own book choices, such as Rick Riordan’s entire “Percy Jackson” and “Kane Chronicles” series, “Bone,” and “Amulet.”
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Connect with Your Children–and Re-Connect with Your Childhood

Now Streaming - Dads Heirloom Edition

Disclaimer: I’m part of the Netflix Dream Team, but I’d been an active (okay. somewhat obsessive) Netflix user for years before.

speed racer 1960sWhen I was growing up, my parents were very much against television and limited my sisters’ and my consumption to PBS–at least when they were home. But the second they were out the door, the three of us would watch anything but PBS. And, like most people, we developed some faves that unwittingly became part of our DNA.

vertigoMy sisters were more interested in animated shows: Speed Racer, Casper, Scooby Do, Richie Rich, Tom and Jerry. But I was more into live action: Superman, Batman, The Three Stooges, Star Trek, The Prisoner, The Avengers. And, wherever I could find it, Hitchcock. Lots and lots of Hitchcock. But whatever we watched, it was inside a “fort” we built by throwing blankets over the back of the couch and some dining room chairs. And let’s not forget the Jiffy Pop. (The folks at Netflix just sent a fancier version of the couch/chair fort, which I’m planning on breaking out when my daughter gets back from sleep-away camp. Or I may try it out for myself, just to be sure it works.)

So when my kids got old enough, say around age five, I started them on Hitchcock and everything else I loved. And, not surprisingy, they came to love (most of) it too. We did (and still do, even though the kids are older) a lot more than just watch. We talked about the plots, the characters, their motivations, the choices they made, and what we might have done differently–or the same. At one point I had an epiphany about my parents’ insane fixation on PBS: It wasn’t the network itself; it was actually all about the “educational” content of the programs. And even though I rebelled against their TV preferences, I feel that I’ve passed my parents’ general philosphy on to my kids–but in a much more open-minded way: There’s something to be learned in almost everything (even The Three Stooges).
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Understanding the Best Options in Home Entertainment

It used to be you had just a few simple channels on the T.V. Then cable came along and we suddenly had hundreds. Satellite TV also gave us more choices. Services began to expand their options (now reaching well over a hundred channels). Now you have all those online options.

There are times when you’re spending more time trying to find something to watch than watching the show or film. It’s very frustrating and becomes doubly so when you’re trying to find something for the kids.
Dump on the fact that the price of cable, broadband, and the tech we use to view this media continues to splinter in every which direction, and it can be easy to get a little confused.

My mission, with this post, is to help you navigate the options and hopefully give you enough insight to find the entertainment option that gives you the best bang for your buck.
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