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Maya & Marty
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 Maya & Marty is a variety show with sketches and musical performances from its hosts and guests. Jokes veer toward the rude, with gags about urination, grunting on the toilet, and "smashing" (casual sex). Cursing is infrequent and includes "hell," "damn," and "ass." Some sketches make reference to drinking and being drunk. Other jokes "punch down," making fun of the overweight. Very frequent product placement, including jokes about and visual references to celebrities, products, and brands. It's pretty cheesy, but some teens will enjoy the "SNL-lite" vibe.
What's the story?
Bringing together the comedic talents of Maya Rudolph and Martin Short, MAYA & MARTY is an hour-long show reminiscent of Rudolph and Short's old stomping grounds, Saturday Night Live. Short sketches skewering pop culture events and figures are performed in front of a live audience, as are live monologues and musical/dancing numbers from performers culled from Broadway or the pop music charts.
Is it any good?
At times this sketch show reaches chuckling heights, but all too often it feels like a so-so episode of SNL despite the gifted performers working hard to entertain. Maya Rudolph, the driving force behind the show, is clearly in her element, and it's a treat to watch her dancing and singing, as when she pops into Miley Cyrus' musical performance to join her for the big finish. In fact, the show's musical moments are the highlight here -- it's always going to be fun to watch people who can sing and dance do their stuff, and Maya & Marty pulls off a charmingly retro tap-dancing number that would have been at home on a Busby Berkeley stage.
It's during the sketches that the show loses steam. Many of the ideas seem half-baked; they start out promisingly but don't go anywhere. In one sketch, Rudolph plays a bemused Melania Trump, who loves diamonds so much she's decided to make edible ones. That's it. That's the entire idea of the sketch, which goes on for three minutes and seems two minutes and 45 seconds too long. In another, Short and guest star Jimmy Fallon play twins who appear on a kid's talent show. The sketch starts promisingly enough: Kenan Thompson doing his Steve Harvey face, Fallon and Short in flamenco shirts and red pageboy wigs. And then nothing happens. It feels as if the writers came up with the concepts but trailed off when it came to writing the jokes. The whole show reads as a watered-down SNL rife with product placement -- half a dozen products and brands appear in the first sketch alone -- that you don't have to stay up (too) late for.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the frequent product placement on Maya & Marty. At what age do kids understand what advertising or marketing is? Is it harmful to children to watch ads that are disguised as plot or jokes?
Would it surprise you to know that hosts Maya Rudoloph and Martin Short, as well as most guest stars, were regulars or guest stars on Saturday Night Live and that SNL impresario Lorne Michaels also produces this show? Do these stars simply like working together, or is there a promotional angle to them appearing together here?
Media critics have made a distinction between humor that "punches up" to take on powerful public figures or "punches down" to mock ordinary people and those who are somehow disenfranchised -- poor, overweight, uneducated, and so on. Which style of humor does Maya & Marty employ? Is it your favorite style?
For kids who love comedy
Our editors recommend
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.