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 this Canadian series centers on a teenage high school teacher who's balancing the need to assert his authority over his students with his desire to fit in with them socially. The concept is hardly realistic, but with some prompting, the social uncertainties he faces could be relatable to those that real kids and tweens encounter. The show draws its plentiful humor from awkward social situations, offbeat characterizations, and general mayhem in a school setting with little real authority, all of which will appeal to its audience. There are some established and blossoming relationships among the characters, most of which are innocent, but one does pair a teenage teacher and a high school student.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In MR. YOUNG, child genius Adam Young (Brendan Meyer) returns to his neighborhood high school as a science teacher after graduating from college in his early teens. Bypassing job opportunities with big-name companies and NASA, Adam finds himself across the desk from his best friend, Derby (Gig Morton), and his longtime crush, Echo (Matreya Fedo), which presents some unique social uncertainties for the underage teacher, who feels out of place among his professional colleagues as well. What's more, Adam's position makes him an authority figure at his older sister's (Emily Tennant) school, and the resident rabble-rouser, Slab (Kurt Ostland), takes pleasure in causing a ruckus in his presence. Add to that a jolly but naive principle (Milo Shandel) and a wacky history teacher (Paula Shaw), and there's no school quite like Finnegan High.
Is it any good?
This Canadian series caters to kids' sense of humor with its clever spin on the dime-a-dozen school-set comedies. Showing teen life through the eyes of a barely post-pubescent teacher highlights its ups and downs in a unique way. Adam's struggles to fit in with his friends and his professional colleagues are reminiscent of many instances of social uncertainty for kids. Of course, the fact that he's caught between two opposing worlds makes for some funny circumstances, which will keep kids wanting to come back.
Content-wise, Mr. Young is fairly worry-free, but there's an unstated issue that surrounds Adam's attempts to woo Echo. When it comes down to it, despite their identical ages, he's a teacher in romantic pursuit of a student. It's unlikely that kids will make the connection between the show and this sensitive real-world concept, but parents might. That said, the show does a surprisingly good job of incorporating solid aspects of history, science, and literature into many of the stories, all in a manner that makes the content more fun than forced learning.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. How are you different from your closest friends? Are there activities or subjects in which you perform better than they do? What are their strengths? Do these (or other) differences ever cause problems among you?
Tweens: What are your career goals? How do those reflect your unique skills? What expertise will you need to acquire before you can fulfill those goals? What satisfaction do you hope to take from your job?
Are you aware of any stereotyping among this show's characters? How can stereotypes be a basis for comedy? Where should the line be drawn between acceptable and offensive stereotyping in entertainment?
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