What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tyler Perry's Love Thy Neighbor is a comedy that contains positive messages about family, but also some discussion about sex and relationships that might be too mature for tweens. Expect some iffy words ("hell," "ass"), and references to infidelity and cross-dressing, as well as occasional lighthearted threats to hit, but nothing really happens.
What's the story?
Written, produced, and directed by Tyler Perry, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR is a comedy series starring Patrice Lovely as Mae Love, the feisty owner of the The Love Train Diner. While her daughter Linda (Kendra C. Johnson) struggles with married life, her adult son Danny (Andre Hall) is learning how to navigate the world of adulthood. Unfortunately, he's easily distracted by his partying roommate Sam (Jonathan Chase), and their attractive co-workers Marianna and Drew (played by Zulay Henao and Darmirra Brunson). Adding to the fray is the ever-present Uncle Floyd (Palmer Williams). There's never a dull moment, and throughout it all, Mae bluntly offers her thoughts and advice. But in the end, they never stop being there for each other.
Is it any good?
The series offers a television version of Perry's popular character, Madea, through Mae Love, whose strong personality and no-nonsense attitude is designed to help communicate funny -- but teachable -- moments. Some of the family dynamics are also reminiscent of some classic Mama's Family episodes, too. But the plot lines are predictable, and occasionally the comedic timing falls a little flat.
The characters are likable, but outside of Mae, they are woefully underdeveloped, and are more like superficial caricatures than people you want to spend time watching. There's simply not enough focus on Mae to really understand who she is and how she sees the world, either. Nonetheless, folks who like Perry's signature comedy style may find it entertaining.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the way families are represented in TV and films. What are the media's most famous television and movie families? Why do they stand out? Does the way the media represents families create stereotypes about what families should look like, or do they challenge them?
What makes a comedy funny? Is it the characters? The plots? The jokes? When does a comedy go too far for a laugh? How does someone's culture factor into the way humor is presented and/or understood?