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 Marlon is a classic sitcom-style comedy series about a divorced dad and his family life. It has some positive messages about family, but also contains strong language and some racial stereotypes. Some of the parental guidance (specifically from Dad) isn't very good. There's also some sexual innuendo, but the more subtle references will go over younger kids' heads.
What's the story?
MARLON is a comedy starring Marlon Wayans as Marlon Wayne, an Internet celebrity who shares parenting responsibilities with his ex-wife, Ashley (Essence Atkins). Raising Marley (Notlim Taylor) and Zak (Amir O’Neil) is his priority, but his larger-than-life personality often leads to some questionable guidance and unexpected mishaps. Marlon's couch-surfing friend Stevie (Diallo Riddle) acts as his sounding board when he's trying to figure things out, while Ashley's best friend, Yvette (Bresha Webb), always watches him with a judgmental eye. Sometimes Marlon can't help but act like an adult child, but in the end, family always comes first.
Is it any good?
This pretty predictable series, which is loosely based on Marlon Wayans' life, blandly updates the classic family-centered comedy. With the help of terms like “co-parenting,” and consistently showing scenes of Marlon and Ashley together with the children, it weaves in the post-divorce narrative in a way that doesn’t detract from the close family dynamic, but still allows it to be a central theme.
Despite the modern-day nuances, neither the conflict-inducing scenarios presented here, or their eventual resolutions, are very original. Wayans' comedy stylings add some energy to the show, though they sometimes comes across as a desperate attempt for a laugh. Ultimately, Marlon will appeal to Wayans’ fans, but folks looking for a unique comedy won’t find it here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the meaning of family. Is it possible for a family to continue to be very close after the parents get divorced? Do you think Marlon offers a realistic portrayal of what that's like?
Much of the humor in Marlon addresses differences in various racial communities. Is it possible to do this without using stereotypes? Would this show be funny without them?
For kids who love sitcoms
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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.