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Green Eggs and Ham
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 Green Eggs and Ham is an animated series loosely inspired by the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. It takes the main characters -- Sam I Am and the unnamed object of his incessant culinary promotion, here called Guy Am I -- and creates an elaborate story in which they meet, wind up traveling together, evade would-be animal abductors, and encounter an adventure-seeking girl and her overprotective mother. The show is visually appealing and rich in creative Dr. Seuss references, capped by the talented Keegan-Michael Key's rhythmic rhymed narration. With mostly clear distinctions between good and bad and a sense of humor that spans the age gap, this series is a solid pick for kids and parents to enjoy together.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In GREEN EGGS AND HAM, two unlikely acquaintances find their destinies cross when they meet in a diner and inadvertently swap matching suitcases. Sunny, friendly Sam I Am (voiced by Adam Devine) leaves the restaurant with curmudgeonly Guy Am I's (Michael Douglas) failed self-flying invention neatly packed away in a case, while Guy is shocked to discover later that he now possesses a rare -- and stolen -- creature called a Chickeraffe that's hotly pursued by two self-proclaimed Bad Guys named McWinkle (Jeffrey Wright) and Glutz (Jillian Bell). As Sam and Guy attempt to retrieve their respective items and get on with their separate lives, they wind up instead as traveling companions, meet an adventurous young girl named E.B. (Ilana Glazer) and her painfully overprotective mom, Michellee (Diane Keaton), and try to stay one step ahead of the Bad Guys.
Is it any good?
This beautifully animated book-inspired series is hampered a bit by a meandering and cumbersome plot but still manages to keep viewers' attention with references to various elements of Dr. Seuss's full compendium of works. Obviously green eggs and ham feature prominently in the story, in this case as a tangible indicator of the chasm between Sam's and Guy's polar perspectives on life. Sam makes repeated attempts throughout the series to encourage Guy to try the unusual dish, but stalwart Guy refuses, telling Sam, "I do not like them." As the story evolves, we also recognize nods to One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and Oh, the Places You'll Go!, among other famous Dr. Seuss works, and the intermittent narration by Keegan-Michael Key ties it all together with the author's familiar rhyming cadence.
Green Eggs and Ham stumbles at the start on its own eagerness to hook viewers, overwhelming them with introductions of numerous main and supporting characters who are only loosely connected to each other at first. As the story plays out and their acquaintances are more solidly defined, the big picture becomes clearer and easier to settle into. The show makes excellent use of cliffhanger endings to lure you back for the following episodes, a somewhat novel feature in kids cartoons that's notably fun in this case.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Green Eggs and Ham compares to the famous book on which it's based. What similarities do you notice between the book and the show? How does reading encourage imagination in a way that TV can't?
Why is Dr. Seuss' work so popular? Which of his titles are your favorites? Are there any you would like to see brought to the screen?
Why does Sam encourage Guy to try something new? Why does Guy resist? In what ways does it take courage to challenge our comfort boundaries?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love Dr. Seuss
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