Baroness von Sketch Show

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Baroness von Sketch Show TV Poster Image
Absurd and witty sketches from Canadian comedians.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Many of the sketches are purely silly, while others make shrewd points about body image, workplace equality, and gender roles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While you may not want to behave like some of the characters they play, this ensemble cast made up of over-40s women with varying body types is a welcome addition to the comedy landscape.

Violence

Slapstick/comedic violence only. Nothing too graphic.

Sex

No actual nudity -- it's often implied, as in a "naked locker room" sketch, but always blurred out -- but lots of sex talk, and some kissing/make-out scenes and implied sex. Frank discussions about homosexuality, gender issues, and swinging.

Language

All the typical basic cable-type swears ("hell," "s--t," "bitch," "bastard"). The "F" word is bleeped.

Consumerism

If anything, consumerism is mocked. There's an entire sketch focused on the demeaning and stereotypical ways certain products are marketed to women.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes of characters drinking and smoking (cigarettes and weed), doing drugs. None of it glamorized -- all for laughs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Baroness von Sketch Show is a comedy series featuring short sketches performed and created by an all-female main cast (men are cast in bit parts, and occasionally played by the primary cast members in male drag). No topic is really off limits, and there are frank discussions and depictions of sexuality and occasionally drinking, smoking, and drug use -- always played for laughs.

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What's the story?

BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW is a Canadian sketch comedy series created by and starring Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne, and Jennifer Whalen. The show started on CBC television, later landing a deal with IFC in the United States. Unlike many U.S.-made sketch and variety shows, there aren't a lot of celebrity impersonations to be seen. Instead, the show uses satirical humor to skewer a variety of timely topics and trends, from adult coloring books to "eating clean."

Is it any good?

It's incredibly refreshing to see a sketch comedy series created and performed entirely by women -- and more to the point, women who are all over 40. The show has definitely tapped into the needs of an overlooked viewer whose interests are not necessarily being served by shows like Inside Amy Schumer or Saturday Night Live. The overall tone is highly reminiscent (without seeming derivative) of their also-Canadian predecessors, the Kids in the Hall, the all-male comedy troupe whose show of the same name has delighted comedy fans since the late '80s/early '90s. The Baroness von Sketch Show cast/creators share a similarly absurd, and at times surreal, sense of humor and have the good sense to end a sketch while they're ahead -- a tactic that can't always be said about the sketches on SNL, which often stretch out a joke until it just isn't funny anymore.

Here, brevity really is the soul of wit, with most sketches clocking in at five minutes or less. The show offers a fresh, funny perspective on topics as serious as body image and sexual harassment to silly bits on a woman's over-reliance on dry shampoo and the holier-than-thou attitudes prevalent in hipster coffee culture. The humor is smart and feminist without feeling agenda-driven -- above all else, it's about the laughs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way Baroness von Sketch Show uses humor to talk about difficult or controversial topics. How can the use of humor lead to deeper conversations and understanding?

  • How does Baroness von Sketch Show differ from other sketch comedy shows you've seen? Do the age and gender of the creators inform the kind of comedy they perform? How is this apparent?

TV details

For kids who love sketch comedy

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