A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that AwesomenessTV is a sketch comedy series that compiles videos from a popular YouTube channel of the same name. The TV version is mindful of its young target audience and uses sketches with content that's age for kids and tweens. But even then, the skits' unpredictable nature means that some kids, especially younger ones, won't grasp the setups behind comical takes on school and relationships. Expect some mild stereotyping, parodies of popular movies and music, and a lot of poking fun at celebs like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. It's worth noting that if your tweens have followed the show on YouTube, they'll be unimpressed with this TV version, since it merely dresses up old clips to fill the 30-minute time slot.
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What's the story?
AWESOMENESSTV brings the YouTube sensation sketch comedy to the TV screen, repackaging popular clips like "Terry the Tomboy" and the "I Knew You Were Stubble" music video into a series format. Hosted by Daniella Monet, who adds quips and slapstick between segments, the show is geared toward kids and tweens and features hidden-camera pranks, pop-culture parodies, phony informercials, and comical skits.
Is it any good?
AwesomenessTV joins the likes of Fred Figglehorn and Annoying Orange in defining the web-to-TV genre. But contrary to its predecessors, this clip show doesn't build on existing web popularity as much as it attempts to mask a glaring lack of originality by adding a recognizable host and a canned laugh track.
Ultimately the problem is this: Since all of the featured sketches are old news, existing fans (and any other tweens savvy enough to pick and choose what they want to see on YouTube) won't be bothered about tuning in. Instead the series introduces a younger audience to the AwesomenessTV brand name, and although its online presence isn't ever noted within the show itself, if kids are aware of it, they may want to check out the wealth of online skits tied to it. But unfortunately, many of them aren't suited for younger elementary schoolers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about AwesomenessTV's style of comedy. What insight, if any, do parodies give us about our society? What's their intention?
Is stereotyping an issue here? How do you feel when someone pokes fun at a person or an ideal that you hold in high regard? Does it change your impression? How might the subjects of these skits feel about them?
How does the Internet continue to shape how we live, work, and relate to others? In what capacities do we use it on a daily basis? Is there a downside to our unlimited access to information and communication?
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