A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kids Say the Darndest Things is an unscripted comedy series that features host Tiffany Haddish conducting casual interviews with a changing cast of grade school-age kids. This third take on Art Linkletter's classic concept of asking kids questions and getting natural, often funny answers is fun, but Haddish tends to dominate both the conversation and the screen time, detracting from the show's likability in the process. While the content is usually appropriate for families watching together, there can be mild innuendo in some of what the kids say, as when a boy elaborates on his task of polishing balls for bowlers and the host and audience members laugh at length. That said, there's some unpredictability in the mostly unscripted nature of the show, so it might be worth previewing before you watch it together with your kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS, host Tiffany Haddish interviews kids onstage to hear their perspective on various topics. From their hobbies and career goals to their favorite entertainment stars, Haddish poses questions that encourage the kids to be themselves and answer honestly, usually with hilarious results for the studio audience and especially for their family members on set. Some segments show Haddish in behind-the-scenes conversations with potential participants, where they show off their talents, and others involve staged acts and fake TV shoots designed to gauge the kids' honest reactions to funny -- and sometimes uncomfortable -- scenarios.
Is it any good?
This reboot sets out to put kids and their unfiltered humor in the spotlight, but it's the obtrusive host who winds up stealing the show from the intended young stars and starlets. Haddish seems unable to take a backseat to her small co-stars, instead turning many of the conversations into avenues to promote herself -- by plugging her voice work in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, emphasizing her own celebrity status, and even calling some of her famous friends during filming. If you're coming to the show hoping to hear what kids have to say, know that you'll hear a lot more of what Haddish herself wants you to know.
And on the subject of what kids have to say, the show's assertion that the young interviewees have not been coached on what to say is arguable, but they certainly have been groomed for performing on camera. That they do with unnatural ease, both in speaking their mind and in putting on awkwardly placed talent shows over the course of an episode. Kids Say the Darndest Things has a lot going on; unfortunately very little of it involves kids saying adorable and reliably unscripted things.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the effectiveness of Kids Say the Darndest Things' humor. What makes it stand out from scripted comedies? Do you think kids know as much as adults? Why or why not?
Do the interviewees seem like "average" kids, or do you think that they have been coached to some degree? How might your kids answer the host's questions differently? How "real" can we reliably assume reality TV is?
Would you ever want to go on TV and answer questions? Why or why not? Would it be easier if you knew what the questions were ahead of time?
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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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