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 Just Roll with It is a hybrid sitcom/improvisational comedy series that centers on a blended family. At pivotal points in the plot, a horn sound directs the actors to stop; studio audience members then vote electronically for what will happen when the scene restarts. This format emphasizes the actors' ability to adapt to changing circumstances and perform under pressure. Also prominent in the story are diversity and strong family themes, especially as they relate to blended families and step-parent/step-sibling relationships. Expect to see some mild rebellion from one of the kids, who usually learns a valuable lesson from her missteps. This highly enjoyable series tackles relatable issues of family relationships with honesty, heart, and many laughs.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
JUST ROLL WITH IT centers on the Bennett-Blatt family -- newlywed parents Rachel (Suzi Barrett) and Byron (Tobie Windham), and their respective tweens, Blair (Kaylin Hayman) and Owen (Ramon Reed) -- as they muddle through the ups and downs of step-parent and step-sibling relationships. With four distinctly different personalities under one roof, expecting the unexpected is just how this family rolls, but that takes on a whole new meaning when the sitcom's studio audience gets to decide what happens next in the story! As the cast is dealt several surprises (unexpected guests, messy scenarios, etc.), they must adapt to them and quickly get back on track to keep the story rolling.
Is it any good?
This unique sitcom/improvisational series plays out a little like the Choose Your Own Adventure books, except that the cast hands over control of their fate to the entire audience. It's a brave endeavor that yields a lot of laughs, but it can be a bit jarring to the fluidity of the story. Even so, the interruptions are fairly minimal (typically three or so per episode), and the cast does a capable job of rolling with what befalls them.
What impresses even more than the show's comic shtick is Just Roll with It's strong family-related themes of communication, responsibility, and forgiveness. As a blended family, the characters encounter their share of bumps in the road -- conflicting parenting styles, a kid's manipulative rebellion, and so on -- but they're dedicated to making their relationships work and they meet their challenges head on. This exceedingly pleasant series is a fun pick for families looking for something a little different from the typical sitcom.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Just Roll with It tries to say about families and family relationships. In what ways do Rachel and Byron present a united parenting front for their kids? How are their challenges unique to blended families? Do their problems (and solutions) seem realistic?
Kids: What value is there in seeing racial/religious/gender diversity in the media you consume? What messages does Just Roll with It send related to diversity? Should achieving diversity be a top priority for those who create TV shows and movies? Why or why not?
How do Rachel and Byron demonstrate their commitment to tolerance and communication in their relationships with each other and with their kids? Can you love someone and disagree with him or her at the same time? When have you been faced with this challenge in your life? What is the difference between agreeing with someone and respecting their right to disagree with you?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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