Change of Plans (and Discussion Questions)

If you’re looking for a good show for the entire family to watch, I recommend you tune in to Change of Plans, starring Brooke White (American Idol), Joe Flanigan (Stargate Atlantis) and Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) on Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 8/7c on FOX.

Brooke White does a great job playing the role of Sally Danville, a free-spirited singer headed out for a vacation with her fighter-pilot husband. That is, until her best friend from college dies in a tragic accident and names Sally as the legal guardian of her four kids – three adopted from third-world countries.

This “temporary” multi-cultural family puts Sally into a tail-spin as she quickly tries to learn how to parent kids from different cultures. The story takes several humorous paths and always circles back around to warm touching moments worthy of modeling good morals to young viewers.

While the experienced traveler will find some of the cross cultural moments a bit stereotypical, the clashes with our American culture speaks volumes about who we might find ourselves to be. It may even prompt some to choose to incorporate moral living into their lives.

Saturday’s premiere is the latest made-for-TV family movie sponsored by Walmart and Procter & Gamble. These two companies listened to America and decided to provide more wholesome entertainment for families, which is worthy of our support at a time when we’ve had the largest increase in profanity on TV since 2005.

According to the Parents Television Council there were 276 instances of f-words bleeped or muted in 2010, compared to 11 in 2005. Family Hour on television saw 111 of those f-words last year. Fox, who will be airing this wholesome show, had the highest increase (269%) in profanity from 2005 to 2010.

Instead of avoiding Fox in protest of their bad choices last year, I’ve found it’s important to support their good choices this year. Therefore, I highly recommend you tell your friends to watch Change of Plans, and flop on your couch with your family Saturday night to join in on the fun. In fact, for those hoping to turn the event into a family discussion, you might want to ask the following questions after the movie:

  1. How can we help someone starting at a new school feel welcome?
  2. When we meet someone from another culture, what can we do to understand their different ways of thinking and doing things?
  3. Can you tell the difference between someone who loves you and someone who puts up with you?
  4. Have you ever gotten angry when you loved someone who didn’t love you back?
  5. Are we capable of sharing kindness to those who live a different lifestyle?

After you watch Change of Plans, I’d enjoy hearing what you have to say about it.

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