Champions

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Champions TV Poster Image
Great gags, fun characters on inclusive sitcom throwback.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Michael is proudly gay and accepted by all, though there are some jokes about it: "I could tell you were gay from the way that you talk." It comes off as good-natured ribbing instead of hateful, though. The cast has ethnic and racial diversity and women in strong central roles. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Michael is a bit of a snob and a complainer, but so witty and quick that it's hard to hold it against him. Dad Vince is a ne'er do well who comes through in a clinch, Uncle Matthew is a softy and a big dim, and Priya, Michael's mom, is flighty yet a loving, staunch defender of her son. 

Violence

Violence is played for laughs, like when a man pulls a gun on Vince for sleeping with his wife and asks if he has any final wishes, or when a woman slaps a man's face when he downgrades her job. There are jokes about suicide, too, like when a character talks about how people who can't attain her physique just want to kill themselves. 

 

Sex

Practically every character on the show is single and available. Expect same- and opposite-sex kissing and sometimes rude references to sex, like when it's said that a school head was fired after a "Jared from Subway" type of scandal. Vince is made out to be a womanizer, with many references to his sex life. 

Language

Cursing and language is infrequent and confined to "damn," "hell," "dammit," "crap," "douche bag," "balls." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jokes about drinking and "weed," such as when it's said that Priya and Vince broke up after Vince was smoking a joint at a gas station, causing an explosion. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Champions is a comedy about a teen who moves in with his dad and uncle so that he can attend an arts school in New York City. The diversity and inclusiveness of the cast is impressive: There are many characters of color, women in strong roles, and a proud gay character who is lovingly accepted by all. Race, sexuality, and ethnicity are frequently discussed in jokes that come off as playful and fresh: "They found a body behind the gym and it's a white body, so they're actually interested in finding out who did it," runs a typical gag. Characters are single and available for romance; expect same- and opposite-sex kissing, dating, flirting, and sometimes-rude jokes about sex. Violence is also fodder for jokes, like when a man holds Vince at gunpoint for having sex with his wife. Vince is apparently a reformed alcoholic and pot smoker -- a woman broke up with him when he caused a gas station explosion by smoking a joint. Cursing and rough language is infrequent: "damn," "hell," "dammit," "crap," "douche bag," "balls." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byZachary15 June 25, 2018

Really funny

I watched this in a weekend and it was hilarious. There is a very diverse range of characters and they are all so funny and loveable especially Michael who may... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byclaudia_rose July 16, 2018

Funny and clever

This show is amazingly funny and clever. It is appealing and exciting to kids of ages 11 and older.

What's the story?

At the Brooklyn gym that Vince (Anders Holm) owns with his brother Matthew (Andy Favreau), the two are CHAMPIONS, the only two guys with their own private offices. But Vince's life is turned upside-down when his high school girlfriend Priya (Mindy Kaling, also one of this comedy's creators) re-enters his life with a surprise for him: Their 15-year-old son, Michael (J.J. Totah), who she's raised alone in Cleveland, now wants to go to school in New York City -- and he's moving into the tiny apartment his dad shares with his Uncle Matthew. Now Vince has to toe the line and forget his plans to dump the gym and his brother and move to Florida; while Matthew quickly discovers that Michael fills the nephew-sized hole in his life he didn't even know he had. Can these very different males live together and make an unconventional family that's actually happy? 

Is it any good?

On paper, it looks like a retread of Two and a Half Men, but this sitcom is a lot sweeter and smarter -- even if a lot of the characters are over-the-top wacky in a way that recalls Community. The gym, in particular, is staffed with a variety ot types who seem calculated to offer a particular brand of comic relief, most particularly the blunt, clueless Ruby (Fortune Feimster), who sums up her feelings about being caught doping in the 2004 Olympics with this excuse: "How else are you supposed to throw a hammer? Hammers are heavy!" Vince, too, is a bit of a sitcom stereotype; the silver-tongued rake who effortlessly bags women who should be way out of his league, yet has a heart of gold somewhere deep inside. 

Yet we haven't seen a character like Michael on TV before, or if we have, it hasn't been often enough. Proudly gay, unashamedly a high school misfit, this Les Miserables-quoting, cranky, torch song-loving teen is a quirky, complicated, confident breath of fresh air, and he gets all the best lines. "I'm tired of being cooped up here like Belle, Tangled, Sleeping Beauty," he complains to his dad about living in a small apartment. His chemistry with Kaling's Priya and his uncle is sweet and relatable, and viewers will want to see how this plucky not-always-likable character fares in the big city. With him at the center of the action, Champions is a winner. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's ever appropriate to use stereotypes to create humor. Why or why not? How are stereotypes used in Champions?

  • Would you consider the characters role models? Are their relationships realistic? How do they change over the course of the series? What do they learn?

  • How do the characters on Champions demonstrate communicationself-control, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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