Friday Night Dinner

(i)

 

Quirky family peppers weekly meals with salty expletives.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Family dysfunction is a major theme, but the show also promotes regular bonding and togetherness with weekly meals.

Positive role models

Family members aren't perfect, but they love each other enough to regularly spend time together. The brothers have a jokingly adversarial relationship and are constantly playing pranks on each other.

Violence

Light physical comedy, including falls meant to be funny, etc.

Sex

Sexual innuendo/tension; there's a recurring character who fancies his neighbor and makes repeatedly inappropriate attempts to be near her.

Language

Unbleeped usage of "s--t," along with expletives like "c--khead," "pissface," and "bastard."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine during dinner, etc.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this British comedy includes frequent unbleeped swearing in the form of "s--t," "c--kface," and "bastard." There's also light sexual innuendo, with physical comedy and some social drinking.

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What's the story?

The Goodmans gather weekly for a FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER in their suburban English home, where a simple meal provides the backdrop for high jinks, hilarity, and family dysfunction. The clan consists of man of the house Martin (Paul Ritter), who has a tendency to go without his shirt; mother Jackie (Tamsin Greig), a good cook with a saucy disposition; and grown sons Adam and Jonny (Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal), who keep each other entertained with endless ribbing and practical jokes. Socially awkward neighbor Jim (Mark Heap) stops by regularly too to use the loo -- and get his hands on Jackie.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Americans accustomed to the zip of Modern Family might find this British comedy a little bland at first. But give the Goodmans a few episodes, and their quirks and eccentricities really start to grow on you, delivering laugh-out-loud moments that transcend cultural differences.

It's tough to say whether American teens will latch on to the show's decidedly British humor. But if they do, it's thanks to the infectious sibling rivalry between brothers Adam and Jonny, who are old enough to know better...but rarely do better. And since one of their favorite pranks involves dumping large quantities of salt into an unattended beverage, you'd best keep an eye on your water glass.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concept of family dinners. What are the benefits to sitting down to regular meals with your parents and siblings? How often do you and your family eat home-cooked dinners together at the table?

  • How different would the show be if the language were toned down? Would it still be as funny? Why do you think the writers used so much salty talk?

  • How does this show's portrayal of a family in suburban England compare with families on American television? Are there any major differences -- or similarities that surprise you?

TV details

Cast:Mark Heap, Simon Bird, Tamsin Greig
Network:BBC America
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Friday Night Dinner was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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