Good children's television educates as much as it entertains. Shows give kids a chance to see a world or a perspective they've never seen before. Parents should know the importance of exposing their children to people whose lives are different. By broadening your kid's world, even if it's just through books or television, you're giving them the tools to create empathy towards others. Hulu's newest show for kids, The Bravest Knight is one of the shows that will show them there are many ways to have a family.
Based on the book, The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived by Daniel Errico, The Bravest Knight tells the story of Sir Cedric. Cedric starts his life as a young boy on a pumpkin farm who dreams of being a knight and having his own happily ever after. When we meet him on the show, he has gotten his happily ever after — he's married to Prince Andrew and is a successful knight. Together, they are raising Nia, their adopted daughter, who is also a knight in training.
As Cedric teaches Nia all the things she needs to learn as a "not yet knight," we get glimpses into his life as a young "not yet knight," like the beginning of his relationship with a troll named Grunt. According to the press release, "Nia, who is training to become a brave knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion; proving that knighthood is much more than slaying dragons."
Moms.com got to participate in a conference call with the show's stars, TR Knight, who voices Sir Cedric, and Storm Reid, who voices Nia.
"Nia is headstrong," Reid says of her character. The show is just as much her story as it is about Sir Cedric. She is the one learning all of the lessons, but in that way that young kids do. Nia has touches of bravado, in the first episode as Cedric tries to teach her a lesson about climbing a rope, she proves to him that her way is just as effective and she's not inept.
TR Knight, who many of you may know as George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy is an openly gay actor. He has been married since 2013. We asked him what it was like to be representing a couple that mirrors his own life.
"I rarely saw anything representative of my life. When you don't see yourself anywhere, it's extremely lonely. You feel like you shouldn't exist. I'm happy to be in a time where shows like this are happening. It's really exciting. There's a real hunger for it," he explains.
For fans of the book, Reid explains that the show will closely follow the same plot structure. "You try to still stick to the story, but with the formatting of TV, you have space to add more." Since the book focuses mainly on Sir Cedric growing up, and the show focuses on Nia's growing up, obviously there will be differences. We'll get an expansion on Sir Cedric's early years, but we'll also learn what's happened to him since the book has ended.
The Bravest Knight is one of the first and only shows for children with gay males as the parental figures. As both of the actors pointed out several times during the conversation, representation is important to children. Storm Reid is a Black young woman, and Nia is a black girl. Sir Cedric is married to another man, just like T.R. Knight. Getting to portray characters that reflect not only their realities, but the reality of children all over is a great responsibility. And it's something that is sorely needed in today's television landscape.
"I absolutely think that more shows like this need to be created," Reid says when asked about the need for more diverse children's shows. "We need that for children's programming. I feel like we're making steps toward more shows like this one."
At the end of the day, The Bravest Knight isn't trying to push any "agenda" on kids. It's 2019, and we must begin to acknowledge that there are many different kinds of families out there. Pretending that gay couples don't exist isn't doing your children any favors, it's actually doing them harm. Sitting down and having honest, age appropriate conversations are the way to create a better world for the next generation.
The Bravest Knight is available now for streaming on Hulu.