Fred: The Show

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Fred: The Show TV Poster Image
More of the same absurdity from obnoxious YouTube star.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 41 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

If a positive note can be found, it's in the fact that Fred is comfortable with himself and refuses to let others' opinions of him change his self-image. Beyond that, though, the show's content isn't impressive, putting a humorous spin on damaged family relationships and chronic irresponsibility, as well as Fred's persistent outcast status. There's also some potty humor (talk of wetting pants and eating poop, for instance) and laughs at the expense of issues like bullying.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Fred's pretty much the opposite of what you hope your kids want to be like. His skewed sense of reality gets him into heaps of trouble, and he never copes with realistic repercussions. His mom isn't consistent or effective as a parent, and he's able to trick her into getting what he wants. Most of the characters -- teens and adults -- are flawed, and none evolve over the course of the show.

Violence

Some slapstick physical humor that doesn't result in injury.

Sex

Some flirting and infatuation among teens.

Language

No real cursing, but Fred often uses substitutes like "Oh my gammit!" and "hackin'," as in "hackin' awesome."

Consumerism

Fred's face and name grace clothing and accessories now, and this show may prompt fans to check out the many YouTube videos based on the character.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fred: The Show limits kids' exposure to Fred's obnoxious behavior and ridiculous antics to a 30-minute timeframe, but it does nothing to pare down the trouble spots that continue to plague the show's star. In short, there's nothing realistic about Fred, who throws tantrums when he doesn't get his way and whose whining tirades are meant for laughs rather than subjected to any kind of normal response from teens and adults alike. Expect a fair amount of stand-in cursing (like "gammit" and "hackin'") in place of their sound-alike curse words, and a severe lack of interest in his well-being from Fred's incompetent mom. The bottom line? Older tweens can reconcile the iffy behavior in this show, but you're not likely to want any of your kids acting -- or sounding -- like Fred.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byJ.Berk August 16, 2012

Anything for a laugh Nickelodeon? Shame on you.

I watched my first (and last episode) of "Fred" this morning with my six year old daughter today. Fred is a obnoxoius, spoiled, tantrum throwing twee... Continue reading
Parent of a 5, 11, 14, 16, and 17 year old Written byMusicMakesMySoulRock March 15, 2012

ugh

I. Hate. Fred. }:( dont bother watching it. tv shows like fred rot the mind. soooooo not kidding
Teen, 15 years old Written bysisterwhocares February 22, 2012

Sigh.....Fred will always be Fred

Forget how innapropriate and distorted it is. The main problem with this show is not just the implied language and romance subplots, or even the bad role models... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 23, 2012

Why would you even watch this show??

Nickelodeon has really run out of ideas when they have to go as low as to give Fred a T.V show. Listen, I have nothing against Fred himself, but I mean c'm... Continue reading

What's the story?

FRED: THE SHOW chronicles the social woes and daily mishaps of Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank), a hyperactive teen with a penchant for tantrums and a flair for the dramatic. The show is a continuation of the character created by Cruikshank and made famous in YouTube videos and two TV movies. Each 30-minute episode centers on Fred's most recent disaster at home or at school, often involving his social nemesis, Kevin (Jake Weary), or his batty mom (Siobhan Fallon Hogan). His best friend, Bertha (Daniella Monet), usually gets dragged into Fred's messes as well.

Is it any good?

Fred keeps young fans in stitches with his bizarre, off-the-wall personality and clear disregard for reality. For kids, the journey into Fred's life is a departure from their own, which, in itself, isn't a bad thing. Trouble arises when he crosses the line between silly frivolity and over-the-top obnoxious behavior, and that's just what happens from the moment Fred: The Show starts. Everything about his character will grate on parents' nerves, from his whiny voice to his extreme disrespect for his mom (and hers for him).

There's no denying that Cruikshank has talent. Anyone who can recycle the same ridiculous material into two movies and a TV show is born to be an actor. But it's shocking that a series aimed at kids would forego the chance to include at least a few positive messages in its content. Fred: The Show is the antithesis of responsible entertainment, touching on timely issues like bullying -- both in the traditional sense and the more modern cyber version -- and peer pressure, and using them as humor points rather than exploring them in a relatable sense. Pseudo-cursing, a contrived home situation, and general absurdity make this a less-than-great choice for kids' attention, not to mention the fact that the star is just plain irritating. The good news? At 30 minutes long, these episodes minimize your kids' (and your) exposure to the nonsense far better than the earlier movies did.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Fred's staying power. Why do you think this character continues to be successful? Do you find his antics funny? Do you think any of his material is harmful to kids? How did the Internet contribute to this character's success?

  • Kids: What messages does this show send about friendship, family relations, and responsibility? Is any aspect of Fred's life realistic? How would your friends' and family's reactions to similar behavior be different from those in Fred's life? Does he set any sort of example for kids? 

  • What are your favorite kinds of shows? How do the characters and situations in those compare to the ones in Fred? What, if anything, have you learned from the shows you watch? Is there any content in them that you think is inappropriate for someone your age?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love tween fun

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