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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Legendary Dudas is a sitcom about a pair of brothers who are in the same middle school class even though they're different ages. There's no cursing, drinking, drugs, or violence besides mild and cartoonish violence played for laughs -- for example, a boy has to fight a much larger wrestler in a school match. Expect very tame and occasional disparaging language: "You're the worst!" Two seventh-graders are dating and call each other "bae" and "boo." The show focuses on non-scary dilemmas, and characters are kindly intentioned toward each other. One prominent character is a vegetarian, another an inventor; the whole cast is racially diverse and gender-balanced. Family members are kind to each other and supportive. Teachers are tough but fair. One character is presented as a slightly stereotypical nerd, but he's a loving and kind friend: "I'm a hugger!" he says proudly.
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What's the story?
"This is going to be the best year ever!" proclaim the THE LEGENDARY DUDAS on the way to middle school -- sixth grade for younger, more cerebral brother Sam (Theodore Barnes), seventh for super-popular Tyler (DeVion Harris). But then the unthinkable happens: Sam's smarty-pants test scores convince the school's administration to bump him up a year. Suddenly Sam and Tyler are in the same class, with Sam separated from all his sixth-grade friends and Tyler forced to defend -- or desert -- his little brother. But these siblings stick together in good times or bad, and Tyler and Sam can always find a way to turn things around to the advantage of the Duda Team.
Is it any good?
Sweet, charming, and with finely drawn yet amusingly over-the-top characters, this middle school-set sitcom is a winner for tween viewers. It'll grab them from Legendary Duda's very first lines, wherein Sam Duda shows off the app he invented over the summer, which has a school map, a pep-talk button, and an alarm to tell you how long it is before school starts. Just the thing for a nervous young lad about to start middle school, and yet on a lesser show, confident big brother Tyler, who's famous because he was in an Extreme Flakes commercial, would have sent Sam's school-dominating hopes right into the ash heap. But that's not this show. On this show, Tyler rolls his eyes a little at his brother's nerdery: "Is this what you stayed home all summer to do?" he demands, before melting and giving his brother his support with a fist bump.
The dilemmas are silly yet grounded in real tween fears: Sam ruins the seventh grade mural in front of everyone with an ill-fated splash of paint; Sam's geeky best friend has a tough time getting his locker open: "It's his kryptonite," sighs Sam. Funny, and played for laughs. Yet new middle schoolers really do fear mastering their lockers, getting lost at school, and doing something dumb and babyish in front of their classes. Someone who remembers middle school well is guiding the action here, and they've found adorable actors to put things over, too. This is a fine show to put on for your children, and it's so lovable you may find yourself watching, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stereotyping in Legendary Dudas and in general. What is a stereotype? Are they always negatively portrayed? Name some stereotypes in shows or movies you like. How can kids battle stereotypes?
Shows that star a pair or group of siblings are classic sitcom staples. Why? What others can you name?
Where do Tyler and Sam Duda live? Are there landmarks that identify the city they live in? Or does the production purposely refrain from identifying where it's shot or set? Why would a show want to do that?
A character competes with another character over how many social media followers each has. Is that a dilemma people you know might have? Does the show take this problem seriously?
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