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 Marvin Marvin stars Lucas Cruikshank of Fred Figglehorn fame and rests its comedy on his trademark physical comedy and plenty of gross-out humor. From a grown-up's standpoint, the show's best feature is the care it takes in reminding viewers that it's important to be yourself, even when that makes you different from your peers. From a kid's point of view, however, this message is lost amid Marvin's outrageous predicaments. Expect some crude behavior (puking, burping, and a lot of attention drawn to Marvin's butt since it's explained that that's where his ears are located), name-calling ("dorkwad," for instance), and general teenage angst, which together compose most of the show's humor.
What's the story?
MARVIN MARVIN is the story of a teenage alien (Lucas Cruikshank) from a distant planet, whose parents send him to Earth to protect him from alien invaders. He's adopted by human parents Bob (Pat Finn) and Liz Forman (Mim Drew) and attempts to learn how to pass as a normal teenager from their kids, Teri (Victory Van Tuyl) and Henry (Jacob Bertrand). But that's no easy task for this larger-than-life alien, and learning curve mishaps often test the patience of his foster family and threaten exposure of his true identity.
Is it any good?
It's evident that Nickelodeon is pinning this show's hopes on the kid appeal of its recognizable star with plot points that open the door for him to demonstrate his knack for physical comedy. Marvin's hardwired to dance like a maniac whenever he hears Earth music, so you can bet you're going to see that multiple times in an episode. Because he's still learning the basics of humanoid behavior, he's going to make mistakes, like returning the favor when the family dog sniffs his butt. Suppressing his super powers isn't always easy, so there are openings for chaos there. This fish-out-of-water set-up means endless possibilities for wacky, obnoxious, and even crude behavior, all of which is designed to get laughs from your kids.
What the show most lacks, though, is originality. Not only does it recycle Cruikshank's unusual comedy style, it also taps Superman for its alien-evacuee storyline and even adds a few touches of E.T. with some of Marvin's powers. To the show's credit, it does attempt to lace the dialogue with buzz phrases like "It's OK to be different" and "Be who you are," but it's a good bet your kids won't even notice those in light of the hyperactive comedy to which most of the content is devoted.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Marvin compares to Fred Figglehorn. What similarities exist between Cruikshank's two characters? What makes them different? Do you think this show's creators intended to draw on Fred's fame for this show? What benefit might there be to doing so?
Kids: In what situations have you felt like an outsider? Is it difficult to adapt to a new place? What can you do if you see another person feeling left out?
How do the Formans compare to your family? Do you think an outsider would have an easy time fitting in at your house? What behaviors might they find funny or odd?
Themes & Topics
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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.