Almost Royal

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Almost Royal TV Poster Image
Deadpan faux reality series is hysterical, slightly rude.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive messages

American customs and pretensions are mocked in a very deadpan fashion, which may amuse Americans who are up for being made fun of.

Positive role models & representations

Georgie and Poppy are generally polite to the people around them, if often inexplicably weird. They're portrayed as rich gadabouts, but their lives don't seem enviable or overly glamorized.

Violence

The (fictional) father of Georgie and Poppy committed suicide with a gun; this is referred to regularly.

Sex

Frequent rude jokes about sex and body parts may very well sail over the heads of young children, as the jokes are delivered in such a straight-faced fashion.
 

Language

"Oh, damn" is as rough as it gets, although there are jokes about erections, breast implants, and bathroom-cleaning procedures.

Consumerism

Real-life celebrities (Fabio, Michael Jackson) are mentioned and sometimes appear on the show. Real brands of luxury goods are mentioned and pictured.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Almost Royal is a hilarious, if slightly naughty, scripted series about an aristocratic English brother/sister pair on an educational tour of America. Although there are jokes about body parts, sex, and bathroom habits, the pace of the show is leisurely, deadpan, and genteel. Jokes are delivered in plummy British accents and in such high-toned language that younger kids probably won't even get the humor. Other than frequent joking references to the suicide of the two main characters' father, there's little here to alarm parents, though the humor is so subtle and talky that only adults or sophisticated teens will be interested in watching.

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What's the story?

In the mock reality series ALMOST ROYAL, Poppy (Amy Hoggart) and Georgie (Ed Gamble) are aristocratic English siblings and distant relatives of the British royal family. Their father recently committed suicide, and the Carlton sibs are honoring his dying wishes by taking a tour of America. They want to get to know the real America, not the one they've seen on television, and so they poke their noses into historical reenactments, the sets of network soap operas, luxury car dealerships, and other illuminating locales, hoping to understand the United States and its people.

Is it any good?

Almost Royal is a rib-tickler, but it's the kind of British-y humor that not all viewers will appreciate. The jokes are silly and often quite rude (Georgie explains to a soap opera actress how he conceals his pesky erections in French class; the siblings speculate on whether their widowed mom would enjoy having Fabio give her "more action in her life"), but they're so mumbled, dry, and relatively sophisticated that some viewers won't find them at all funny. But, suffice it to say, if you're the type of viewer who appreciates the work of English comics such as Ricky Gervais or Steve Coogan, you're going to laugh at Almost Royal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why the show is presented as being reality television when it's actually scripted. Is this part of the joke? Why is it funny?

  • Does Almost Royal remind you of other reality television series? How is Almost Royal like or unlike other shows such as Shahs of Sunset or The Simple Life?

  • What is the humorous aspect to importing people from another culture to investigate American culture? Can you think of other movies or TV shows that take this tack? Do you find it amusing? Realistic?

TV details

For kids who love funny stuff

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