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Chill with Bob Ross
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 Chill with Bob Ross is a curated selection of landscape painter Bob Ross's old PBS series The Joy of Painting. Ross shows viewers how to create a new painting from start to finish in each 25-minute episode. The subject matter and narration are all supremely positive and mellow -- so mellow, in fact, that it may bore younger kids who won't really "get it." Probably best suited for older kids and adults looking to giggle, zone out, and relax.
What's the story?
CHILL WITH BOB ROSS takes us through the creation of a new landscape painting in each episode, whipped up before our eyes by the eponymous host. Bob is a soft-spoken and happy dude with a giant afro and an even bigger paint palette, who explains to viewers exactly which paint colors and supplies they'll need on hand if they want to follow along as he's instructing them. Also an avid nature lover, Bob occasionally treats us to guest appearances by baby squirrels and birds he is caring for, even bottle-feeding some on camera. Chill with Bob Ross is a "Greatest Hits"-style selection culled from vintage episodes of The Joy of Painting, which aired on PBS from 1983-1994 and enjoys a certain cult status among those who love the show's ultra-mellow vibe.
Is it any good?
The idea that anyone watches this how-to show while standing at an easel, following along as Ross does his thing, is dubious -- but using it as a visual and auditory tranquilizer is a no-brainer. There's just something inherently relaxing about watching someone create something out of nothing, and his optimistic demeanor and encouraging bon mots (Ross doesn't believe in mistakes, he believes in "happy accidents") make the groovy painter feel like a familiar, favorite uncle. The grainy film quality and outdated art styles may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who appreciate camp and are looking for a fun way to decompress, Chill with Bob Ross makes an ultra-soothing balm for anxious times.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the skill it takes to complete an entire painting from start to finish in only about 20 minutes. Is this something you think you could replicate if you painted along with Bob? What were some of his best art tips?
What do you think of Bob's, ultra-relaxed narration style in Chill with Bob Ross? Why is watching other people create things such a great way to unwind?
For kids who love relaxing TV
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.