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 this sitcom glamorizes immature and selfish behavior. The four main characters spend most of their time complaining -- about their jobs, about their coworkers, and most of all about women. The ones with wives or girlfriends whine about their unhappy relationships, the single ones bemoan their lack of girlfriends, and all of them wish they were having more sex. There's plenty of scheming (which usually includes crass and sexist language) as they try to find ways to get women into bed, and they often treat women as sex objects. Drinking plays a big part in their social activities, and, perhaps not surprisingly, in their efforts to meet women.
What's the story?
The four friends at the center of FACTORY are unhappily married Gary (Mitch Rouse, co-creator of the show); recently divorced Smitty (David Pasquesi), who's forced by economics to live with his ex-wife and an attractive step-relative, whom he lusts after; Gus (Jay Leggett), who has a long-time girlfriend and is ready to take the next step but still prefers to spend as much time as possible with the guys; and unhappily single Chase (Michael Coleman). All are in their mid 20s and have full-time jobs at, yes, a factory. Basically, the show consists of them whining about their jobs and the main subject of their unhappiness: women (or, more specifically, sex and their unsatisfying love lives).
Is it any good?
Though at first glance the guys might seem like adults, don't be fooled. They're really all just big kids, unable or unwilling to demonstrate the maturity that their supervisors -- and the unfortunate women in their lives -- expect. Instead of working, they prefer to spend as much time as possible slacking in the break room, complaining about their jobs and women. After work, they spend most of their free time together, complaining about their jobs and women. And when they aren't together, they're usually trying to weasel out of whatever unpleasant task has forced them apart, so they can reunite and gripe some more. These efforts supply the comedy in this not-so-funny show.
Watching the foursome try to connect with women is supposed to be funny, and sometimes it is. But more often it's just painful, as these so-called adults act as selfish and petulant as children deprived of a sweet treat. They fib, they pout, they cajole, they think of themselves first, and they're more than willing to deceive each other to get what they want. In short, they act much like many young men, who will laugh at their antics but may also feel a little uncomfortable if any of these descriptions strike a bit too close to home.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the show -- and the media in general -- tends to portray guys in this age group. Is it realistic to paint them with a "whiny slacker" label, or is that a stereotype? Is it more OK to play up that kind of stereotype for comedy than it is to rely on other stereotypes (ones involving race, for example) for laughs? If so, why? Families can also discuss how the show depicts women. Why are the wives portrayed so negatively? Do you think they come across as a fair representation of an unhappy partner, or are they too one-dimensional?