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 @midnight blends aspects of panel talk shows, the late-night format, and improv comedy into a laugh-out-loud series that mines well-known websites such as Instagram, OKCupid, and Yahoo! Answers for content to roast. This raises the question of whether it's appropriate to make fun of the things other people say and do online, as well as issues of personal privacy (or the lack thereof). Anything goes as far as language is concerned, including "s--t" and "a--hole" and body slang such as "pussy" and "boner." "F--k," "s--t," and "dick" are edited for TV but not for the show's uncensored online version. There also are a lot of crude sexual references: talk of circle jerking, fisting, and cunnilingus are only the start. Even though this series will appeal to teens because of its social media presence and sharp humor, its content is too raunchy for most.
What's the story?
@MIDNIGHT is an improv-inspired late night show in which guest comedians face off in a series of games inspired by Internet memes and videos or pictures that are trending. Each episode features three guests who must craft captions for funny photos and witty responses to questions. Recurring games ask them to translate emoji sentences, create phony Facebook statuses, and market unique craft products on Etsy. Host Chris Hardwick allots points based on the guests' responses, declaring a winner at the show's end.
Is it any good?
@midnight is a hilarious improv series that blends two things teens and young adults love: comedy and the Internet. It mines popular sites and social media such as YouTube, Vine, and Tinder for inspiration for the games, recapping bizarre news stories or playing comically bad videos to generate laughs from the audience and quips from the guests. And, with a new panel of players and different content on each episode, the show always feels fresh and unique. Add to that the interactive component that allows viewers to submit their own content on Twitter, and it's clear why this series would be popular with social media-savvy teens.
What won't be popular with parents is @midnight's liberal attitude toward language and suggestive content, which is so ribald it's almost shocking at times. It's certainly not the stuff you'd want your younger teens to be hearing, much less repeating, and the barrage of sexual references is sure to inspire Internet searches. Even though the censored TV version exercises some selective editing the online one does not, there's still a lot here that's questionable for teens. The bottom line? There's a reason @midnight airs after midnight, so keep it on your adults-only watch list.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's edgy humor. Would it be as comical without the racy content and excessive cursing? Why do we find these qualities funny?
Are you ever surprised by the kinds of things people post online? What do you think they hope to gain by doing so? How far can Internet fame take someone these days?
What is the value of social media? How has it changed the nature of personal relationships? Is "friending" someone the same as being friends with him or her? Why, or why not?
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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.
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