In Case of Emergency

Common Sense Media says

High school pals reunite as pathetic adults.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters are all pathetic, and most are involved in negative activities (prostitution, corporate crime, binging, stalking). The show is about these characters turning their lives around, though the fact that they're involved in these things is what makes the show funny. Some ethnic humor regarding Koreans and Jews.

Violence

Exaggerated violence including a punch in the face (causing a broken nose); threats of violence from police officer boyfriend toward girlfriend and male friends. One character considers attempting suicide and ends up shooting himself in the foot with a gun.

Sex

Scene in "massage" parlor (including off-screen masturbation); revealing clothing; lots of explicit sexual dialogue.

Language

"Jackass" and "sucks," among other relatively mild expletives.

Consumerism

Fake junk food brands. Kid wears "Incredibles" t-shirt.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking. Discussion of taking lithium.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adult-oriented sitcom doesn't feature any good role models to speak of and includes scenes of masturbation (without visible genitalia), a scantily dressed prostitute, and loads of sexual innuendo. One character considers attempting suicide and holds a handgun to his head, and there's some other exaggerated comic physical violence, including hints of potential domestic violence. Relatively mild language.

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What's the story?

Los Angeles-set sitcom IN CASE OF EMERGENCY follows a group of old high school acquaintances as they reconnect during a dark period in their lives. Harry Kennison (an over-the-top Jonathan Silverman) is a depressed, divorced greeting card writer who reconnects with former high school valedictorian Kelly Lee (Kelly Hu) who's now working at a Korean massage parlor. Due to a series of outrageous events, Harry and Kelly also end up reunited with Jason Ventress (David Arquette, who's remarkably not over-the-top) and Sherman Yablonsky (Greg Germann), who are also both in the midst of dramatic personal and professional downslides. Through a mixture of pratfall humor and increasingly ridiculous scenarios, the four central characters try to turn their pathetic lives -- which are filled with rather dark demons (eating disorder, white collar crime, prostitution, sociopathic issues) -- back into the hope-filled ones they were when they graduated high school.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Older teens might find the physical humor and the twisted comedy appealing, but parents will want younger kids to steer clear. The humor in In Case of Emergency is very male-oriented and includes a handful of potentially offensive elements involving women (hints of domestic violence, incidents of prostitution, general absence of women), while simultaneously painting men in a pretty clueless light.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how people change after high school. How have parents changed? What changes are they happy about? Not so happy about? Where do teens see themselves in 10 or 15 years? What could stand in the way of teens meeting their goals for the future? The media often presents unrealistic visions of high school life; do you think this version of post-high school life is any more accurate?

TV details

Cast:David Arquette, Greg Germann, Jonathan Silverman
Network:ABC
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of In Case of Emergency was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay 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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