Brand X with Russell Brand

Common Sense Media says

Provocative, profane talk show wittily skewers sacred cows.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Brand clearly thinks deeply about concepts like kindness and faith, and his commentary may inspire philosophical family conversations. On the other hand, Brand's playful mockery may offend, particularly conservative types since Brand's worldview and commentary veers left.

Positive role models

Despite being smutty, profane, and cheeky Brand comes off as a genuinely kind and caring person. He treats audience members with respect, though he tends to flirt shamelessly with the female ones, sitting on their laps to give them microphone time. Thankfully it seems more saucy than sexist.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Brand references his famously avid sex life honestly and makes sexual comments often, such as once telling a hiccuping audience member with "massive tits" that she could be in "big tit hiccup porn."

Language

Lots of swallowed curses such as Brand mouthing "f--k off" many times over the course of the show. There's also general coarse language, such as Brand referring to circumcision as "cutting a bit of a baby's dick off."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brand is a former heroin addict who is on record as a supporter of drug decriminalization in the UK. He references his bouts with sex addiction.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Brand X is a provocative talk show/rant on sensitive topics such as politics and religion, conducted by British comedian Russell Brand who is himself a lightning rod for controversy (he's an admitted former sex addict and junkie, and was briefly married to singer Katy Perry). The show's talky format will bore younger kids and young teens. Those same kids will lack the cultural and political background to get many of Brand's jokes, or to understand what he's talking about. Parents may feel iffy about some of the comments Brand makes, such as referring to the Jewish tradition of circumcision by wondering why God would take the time to "cut off part of a baby's dick." Brand is also very flirty with female audience members, sitting on their laps to talk to them and making comments about their appearance, though it comes off as playful rather than sexist. Older teens who can handle Brand skewering beliefs and foibles and who can sit still through all the yakking may enjoy watching, and parents will want to watch with them to continue discussing Brand's points after the show has ended.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

British comedian Russell Brand is famous in America for three things: he used to be a heroin addict, he went to rehab for sex addiction and later wrote about it in a bestselling book, and he was briefly married to singer Katy Perry. His half-hour talk show, BRAND X, is as ribald as his past befits, if a good deal more thoughtful than readers of celebrity scandal sheets may expect. On each episode, Brand picks a different topic to ruminate on, such as the Dalai Lama's role in world religion and who functions as the Dalai Lama in America. Brand then mostly commands the microphone in seemingly off-the-cuff commentary, with brief asides from his American co-anchor and from the audience. By the end of the show, many points have been raised and given rambling attention and the viewer may be left with some thinking to do.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Brand X is fun in a Real Time with Bill Maher way. Both shows offer thoughtful political and sociological commentary wrapped in funny, so it goes down easily. Host Russell Brand has an engaging personality, impish and self-deprecatingly honest, which keeps viewers interested in where he's going with a topic. He's also clearly sharp and well-read, going both high- and low-brow by referencing such personages as Nietzsche and Shaquille O'Neal with equal gravity. Brand's Britishness is a boon to the show, too. If an American suggested Warren Buffet is a "priest of the religion of capitalism" it would come off as merely mean-spirited. Said with an English accent, the Buffet joke becomes a keen cultural observation from an outsider.

On the other hand, the show's decision to focus almost entirely on Brand at the microphone is a bit numbing. There are no guests, and Brand's American co-anchor only pipes up briefly. Brand does go some interesting places as he rants on topic, but listening to one person talk on and on is a bit reminiscent of a school lecture. It's a lecture from a very groovy professor, however, one with long hipster hair and tattoos, who says amusing things like "I don't agree with Mel Gibson doing that anti-Semitism thing, but Apocalypto, great film! He really created a mood there!"

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why FX hired a British comedian to do an American show that examines American behavior. There's an old saying: fish don't discover water. What does that mean? How does this relate to Brand X? How does being an outsider to American culture affect what Russell Brand discusses on Brand X?

  • On Brand X, host Russell Brand humorously wonders why we believe what we believe and act the way we do. Are there any parts of the show that make you uncomfortable, or make you question a belief you hold? Does that make you like Brand X or its host more, or less?

  • Does the fact that Russell Brand was married to a famous singer, Katy Perry, make you more interested in him and what he thinks? Will Brand's connection to Perry make him more interesting to young kids?

TV details

Cast:Matt Stoller, Russell Brand
Network:FX
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-MA

This review of Brand X with Russell Brand was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byNAAFW February 7, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

TRUTH

This show is provocative, yes, but it is HONEST. I'd allow my kids to watch it...kids are gonna learn swear words and sexual information at school via friends or school itself anyway! Mr Brand is paving a better path for our younger generations. He trys to break barriers, turn negativity into positivity, LOVE everyone. There should be more people in this world exactly like him and i am happy to show my children such an amazingly talented and funny influence in our overbearing and fked up world today.
What other families should know
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide