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 the "F'N" in the show's name supposedly stands for "Friday night," but it certainly also suggests a word that's much less innocent. Real "f--k"s do occasionally slip out of the host's mouth, but they're bleeped. There's nothing particularly controversial (or new) about the show's concept. But the content of the videos and the histories of some of the artists make the series inappropriate for kids and tweens. Artists like Snoop Dogg -- who's well known for his associations with drinking, drug use, and sexual explicitness -- share the screen with the Pussycat Dolls, whose skimpy outfits and risqué dance moves are enough to give Grandma a heart attack. Smoking, drinking, loving, and fighting also appear sporadically within the videos.
What's the story?
With F'N MTV PREMIERES, MTV goes back to its roots, sort of, by premiering four new videos and hosting a live band for one song. Host Pete Wentz, of Fall Out Boy and Ashlee Simpson fame, introduces artists who join him on stage amid a horde of screaming fans. Wentz and the artists -- who come from a variety of genres and run the gamut from predictable bling-and-booty to artsy British rock -- briefly discuss and watch clips of their favorite videos. After some fancy pyrotechnics, the video then appears in its entirety, and a trio of critics gives short reviews and checks in with the texting audience.
Is it any good?
Wentz does an adequate job, but he's sort of a dweeb. Luckily, he knows that and uses his underdog persona to his advantage. He occasionally stumbles over his script and rushes his guests' answers, but some moments work out OK. For example, Wentz and Snoop Dogg did a mildly funny sketch in which Snoop parodied himself and advised an innocent Wentz to keep his baby's crib in the garage and feed it malt liquor to help it sleep.
Obviously, between skits like that and the generally edgy content of plenty of the videos themselves, this isn't the best pick for kids and tweens, but teens and adults might enjoy seeing a little more music in their "music television" -- as long as they can put up with Wentz.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why they think certain videos are chosen for the show (besides the fact that they're new). Do you think some make the cut precisely because they're shocking or feature half-naked women? If so, what makes those more appealing to put on TV than others? Also, what makes a video fun to watch in genearl? Is there a difference between a music video and a commercial for a product? What kind of values are the videos promoting? Do they agree with your own family's values?