What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the unpredictable nature of this '90s sketch comedy series makes it difficult to fully gauge the age-appropriateness of its content, although on the whole, there's little concern for tweens. Expect a fair amount of bathroom humor (acne and edible dandruff, for example), some bullying that's meant to be funny, and physical humor like pretending to sever a hand from its arm. The fact that many of the skits exaggerate characters' physical features (large ears or a sizable rear end) to poke fun at them is a good reason to start a conversation with your kids about tolerance and respect. Tweens won't grasp many of the show's cultural references since they're rooted in the '90s' celeb scene and politics, but there's enough timeless comedy to maintain kids' interest.
What's the story?
ALL THAT is a '90s sketch comedy series that originally ran on Nickelodeon and inspired a handful of spin-offs starring its alums, including Kenan & Kel and The Amanda Show. The 30-minute show features a musical guest and a series of skits that poke fun at relatable issues like acne and bullying and includes impersonations of '90s public figures like Roseanne Barr and Ross Perot. Over the show's 10-year run, it went through many cast and formatting changes; later episodes incorporated guest stars like Ray Romano, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.
Is it any good?
Much like Saturday Night Live does for older viewers, All That finds the funny in the mundane aspects of life, like facing down a class bully or dealing with a clueless teacher. The show's changing nature keeps the content fresh and fun for tweens, who will enjoy the cast's take on everyday situations and quirky people. Some skits rely on satirical humor related to people and events from the '90s that won't resonate with a new generation of viewers, but there plenty of laughs that cater to the tween set and transcend the timeliness gap.
Although the show isn't out to spark discussion, some aspects of its content offer a jumping-off point to talk to tweens about issues like stereotyping, bullying, and society's impression of celebrities. Be sure to remind kids that while shows like this one appeal to fans by poking fun at a person or group of people, there are repercussions for doing the same in the real world.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about comedy. Do you think this show is funny? Did you understand all of the references? How does a person's life situation affect how he or she interprets comedy?
Tweens: Did you notice any stereotyping in this show? How does stereotyping influence comedy? Is it possible to be funny without making someone else the victim?
Kids: How is bullying handled in your school? Do you think it's a major issue among your peers? Have you ever been on the receiving end of teasing? How does it feel to be in that position?