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 Flaked centers on a 40-something recovering alcoholic living (and occasionally working) in Venice Beach, California, where he spends his time attending meetings, scouting women, playing paddleball, and making stools (yes, the kind you sit on). You'll hear strong, unbleeped language (think "f--k" and "s--t") and see simulated sex with nudity, along with several characters smoking cigarettes and pot (and struggling with their addictions to alcohol).
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What's the story?
On the surface, recovering alcoholic Chip (Will Arnett) has a pretty cushy gig as the unofficial "mayor" of Venice Beach, California, with perks that include his pick of pretty women (Lina Esco and Ruth Kearney), a loyal best friend (David Sullivan), and a cult following among the laid-back locals. But skilled as he seems at doling out advice and platitudes, he has seriously FLAKED when it comes to his own life. Good thing nobody knows it but him.
Is it any good?
When it comes to flat-out comedy, Arrested Development brought out the best in Will Arnett. But for those expecting the second coming of Gob Bluth, Flaked will feel more like a fake-out. Actual laughs are rare, and Arnett's Chip is painfully unlikable as a protagonist. And though it's billed as a comedy, "dramedy" is much more fitting, thanks to an oddly placed plot twist that comes late in the show's first season and changes everything in a "huh?" kind of way.
It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that a droll comedy about an aging alcoholic won't interest most teens. But even parents will find it hard to fit Flaked into their weekly binge blocks, which is the opposite of what Netflix was going for. It's not that the performances are weak; on the contrary, the cast is notably strong. It's just that the story doesn't really hold up -- or make you laugh -- as much as you might have hoped.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Flaked's take on alcoholism, addiction, and the recovery process. How accurately does the show portray the lives of recovering alcoholics, and how seriously does it portray the challenges they face? What are the real-life consequences of alcohol dependency?
How does Flaked compare to other streaming comedies? Does its tone and structure represent something new, or is it serving up more of the same? What's behind the trend to mine comedy from personal tragedy?
How does Chip measure up as a role model? Are we supposed to root for him -- or even like him? How does Flaked's title play into his personality?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love comedy
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