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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that I Love You, America is a talk/sketch show that humorously skewers American values, politics, pop culture, and other aspects of modern life, hosted by comic Sarah Silverman. Sensitive topics are what this show is all about, so expect to hear challenging thoughts on religion, sexuality, gun control, and more. Silverman is a sincere, relatable, and empathic host who softens difficult concepts with humor, even while she makes jokes that may be offensive to many. Viewers, particularly conservative viewers but also liberal ones, will find their biases challenged, and the show may provoke zesty debate. Expect references to sex, violence, drinking, drugs, and smoking, and lots of language: "f--k," "f---ing," "holy s--t," "fart," "f-gs," and (used in a discussion about an intolerant church and its protests) "Jesus Christ!" Silverman also enjoys pushing boundaries: In the show's first episode, a naked man and woman are shown, with the camera zooming in on their genitals as Silverman matter-of-factly says that we're seeing a penis, a vagina, etc., in a nonsexualized context, which can be jarring but also makes viewers consider why nonsexual nudity is almost unknown in American media.
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What's the story?
I LOVE YOU, AMERICA's host Sarah Silverman is genuinely pained when she sees the problems of modern America, as much as she loves it -- so, in this interesting talk show/sketch show hybrid, she takes issues to task in her own often profane, always hilarious manner. She talks to people she agrees with, she talks to people she disagrees with, she sings songs, she performs sketches, all in the service of earnestly investigating why we do the things we do and showing how people are complicated, but if we want to understand and love each other, we can.
Is it any good?
This curious melding of sketch comedy, earnest talk-show interviews, and Daily Show-style topical pieces would be a great big mess -- if it weren't so funny. National treasure Silverman has managed quite a trick here: She takes the topics she's addressing and the people she features on I Love You, America seriously, but she isn't afraid to laugh at anything, including herself. And she's funny. Really funny. Heading into dinner with a "Trump-voting Christian family" in Louisiana as the "first Jew" she imagines has been invited to the house, she practices her greeting: "Shalom! No, wait: Hello!"
She brings the family's 7-year-old son the gift "kids of all ages can appreciate," a remote-controlled fart machine. And she sits and has respectful, insightful, friendly, funny (!!) conversation with the family about guns and gay marriage and Obama, a pleasant evening that ends in sincere hugging. "Did we change each other's minds? Um, f--k no. But we did learn we didn't have to be divided to disagree. We can have fun! We can even love each other," says Silverman. What a hopeful idea, wrapped in an entertaining shell of a show, hosted by a woman so charming and quick that she can make you think and laugh instead of roll your eyes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about shows that take a critical look at American politics and pop culture. What others can you name? How is I Love You, America like or unlike these shows? Is it different in tone? Content? Slant?
Is Sarah Silverman's humor ever offensive? Does she make jokes that upset or disturb you? Are they funny anyway? Is there any point to uncomfortable jokes? Does she use humor to make points? Do jokes have to be offensive to be funny?
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