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 this over-the-top British sketch comedy series has lots of simulated nudity -- the male stars don topless, rotund female costumes for some skits. They also sometimes sport thongs themselves, leaving little to the imagination. Much of the show's purposely crass humor involves stereotypes of groups including homosexuals, the overweight, the disabled, and the elderly.
What's the story?
British sketch comedy LITTLE BRITAIN offers an off-kilter view of English society, as seen through the eyes of writers/co-stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas. The show pokes fun at British misfits, whose many misadventures fuel the series' ribald humor. Little Britain's colorful characters, all of whom are played by the versatile Walliams and Lucas, include Daffyd, the proudest gay resident of a small Welsh town, who sports a variety of skimpy rubber suits and takes offense when other homosexuals tread on his turf, and Marjorie Dawes, the leader of a weight-loss group called the Fat Fighters, who conveniently overlooks her own considerable size when she belittles members for their food weaknesses. Former Olympic athlete turned professional resort resident Bubbles Devere divides her time between prancing through the spa in a cover-up that barely covers her substantial frame and dodging the manager, who's pushing her to settle her bill, while transvestite friends Florence and Emily prove that beauty is more than skin deep as they try to blend into modern society (though Florence's mustache makes it somewhat difficult).
Is it any good?
There's no denying the comic talent of Little Britain's two stars, but the show's decidedly British humor will make it an acquired taste for many American viewers, who likely won't get some of the social and political undertones that make it such a hit with Britons. Parents will probably want to preview the show before giving teens the OK, since lots of the jokes are based on sexual orientation, appearances, and various physical and mental handicaps. Nudity is also an issue -- one flamboyant male character often wears a thong, and the actors sometimes don costumes that look like naked female bodies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about comedy. How would you characterize the humor in this series? How does it compare to comedy you've seen in other shows and movies? Did you find this kind of humor funny? Why or why not? Parents can also talk with their teens about getting laughs at other people's expense. What groups of people are the brunt of the jokes in this series? Can you relate to them at all? How so? Have you ever been the subject of other people's laughter? How does it feel?