What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sitcom about the antics of the staff at a trendy New York City hotel isn't intended for younger audiences. A lot of the humor relies on racy sexual innuendoes, as well as sexist and racial/ethnic stereotyping. One employee isn't allowed to work on guest floors because of her weight. There's also some strong language ("bitch," "ass") and references to drinking.
What's the story?
Neal (Jerry O'Connell) is the high-maintenance (and rather obnoxious) general manager of The Inn, a swanky New York City hotel. He does whatever it takes to keep the hotel up to his own stylish and rather sexist standards while simultaneously impressing the hotel's owner (Robert Wagner). But while Neal tries to keep close tabs over what goes on in front of his guests on the upper floors, downstairs he has to contend with Rhonda (Niecy Nash), the hotel's human resources manager, who runs the lower level according to her own set of rules. The two try to keep each other in check while managing their eclectic hotel staff, including aging model/front desk receptionist Nicole (Molly Stanton), naïve bellman Jason (Brando Eaton), goal-oriented reservations clerk Molly (Jolene Purdy), and Larry (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), the unconventional head of housekeeping.
Is it any good?
DO NOT DISTURB attempts to be witty by bringing in a wide range of eccentric, rather neurotic personalities to get some laughs. But while it succeeds in assembling a diverse cast -- including people from various racial/ethnic backgrounds, a plus-sized woman, and a gay man -- they mostly serve as the foundation for sexist and at times racially motivated stereotypes. For example, Rhonda flashily tells Molly that she can't work upstairs because she's not skinny enough to fit into the hotel's hip look. The silly plotlines aren't very interesting either.
Although the series pushes the envelope with some strong language and lots of strong sexual innuendo, it falls short of offering the kind of true edginess that viewers will want to check in for. In fact, Do Not Disturb seems to be about nothing -- and not because it wants to rival Seinfeld, but because it fails to offer anything substantial. But the real bottom line is that it just isn't very funny.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what makes a sitcom "work." Is it good writing? Funny jokes? Timing? The characters? What makes a sitcom edgy? Do comedies that push the envelope have to contain strong language or mature subject matter? Families can also discuss the role that stereotypes play in comedy. Is relying on sexist or racial assumptions for laughs ever appropriate?