Just Kidding

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Just Kidding TV Poster Image
No-frills, kid-staged pranks make for funny family comedy.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This title intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Everyone's a good sport and the message that joking around can be positive fun comes across. Kid-friendly potty humor is a big hit in many of the jokes, including farting noises from a whoopee cushion or the impression that a victim has just been sneezed on.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the victims get a good laugh and seem no worse for the wear after the prank is over. Because the jokes are short-lived, the unsuspecting participants aren't put on the spot for long.

Violence & Scariness

Some pranks are designed to give the participants a surprise, as when they reach into a can and a kid's hand grabs theirs.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Just Kidding makes adults the brunt of simple, comical pranks staged by kids. All of the jokes are good-natured and short-lived, and the grown-up victims are good sports when the truth is revealed. Some of the set-ups have a mild gross-out factor, like finding a mouse in your cake; others give the bystanders a frightful surprise like being grabbed by a hand extending from an oversized gumball machine. The innocent nature of the pranks makes this a fun show for families to watch together and illustrates how practical jokes can be funny if they're done in a way that isn't harmful to the unsuspecting victim.

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What's the story?

In JUST KIDDING, host Zach Fox and a crew of young actors and actresses pull pranks on unsuspecting bystanders on the street, in stores, and in malls. Some of the jokes include rigging a slice of watermelon to squirt water when it's sliced, setting up a paper-shredding mailbox, and making it seem that a kid's tongue is frozen to an ice cream cooler. Multiple participants' reactions are recorded and replayed in film sequences set to music.

Is it any good?

This hidden-camera series makes great work of simple jokes and fresh-faced schemers whose innocent believability is their greatest asset. What passerby is going to turn down a young girl's need for a dog-sitter so she can go to the bathroom? So imagine that victim's surprise when the girl zips off on a friend's moped instead, leaving her pup's leash dangling from the Good Samaritan's hand.

Just Kidding is a laugh-out-loud funny show made all the more enjoyable by its brisk pace and jokes that are appropriate for kids' sense of humor. It doesn't waste time detailing the set-up of the jokes; instead it combines clips of the victims' expressions for maximum giggles. Yes, there are some that employ farting noises and other body-related topics, but let's be honest -- that's par for the course when it comes to what makes kids laugh, so there probably won't be any surprises there. Even though all of the grown-ups are good sports about being put on the spot, be sure to remind your kids that some pranks can be emotionally harmful to others and that it's never a good idea to laugh at someone who's not in on the joke themselves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it feels like to be the brunt of a joke. Have you ever been put in that position? Did people laugh at you? How does it make you feel when all eyes are on you? How do you know when a joke has been taken too far?

  • Kids: Do you like practical jokes? What kinds of supplies do you need for some of your favorites? Are all practical jokes funny? Why or why not?

  • Parents can talk with their kids about the kinds of things they learn from the media. Are there certain words or behaviors that you've seen on TV or in movies that you want to repeat? Does seeing them in this manner make them seem cool? 

TV details

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For kids who love comedy

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