Newsreaders

 
TV newsmag spoof is often hilarious; OK for older teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show is a spoof and it treads on some delicate territory -- making fun of horny college guys and prostitutes, as well as self-important newscasters -- but does so without feeling vicious or icky.

Positive role models

All these people are goofing around, and they're talented at it, but the characters they play are often goofballs. The cast boasts good racial, gender, and ethnic diversity, with several people of color in the cast of main characters, and as many professional women portrayed on the show as men.

Violence

Some cartoonish violence, as when rioting mobs push each other nonsensically.

Sex

Lots of mockingly sexy scenarios, such as one episode that focuses on a Detroit car company's attempt to get back on top of the market by creating a porn site with randy college students copulating in their "f--k vans." Women are often scantily dressed and sometimes portrayed as prostitutes who cheerfully allow strangers to pick them up.

Language

Lots of bleeped "f--k" and "s--t," as well as coarse language.

Consumerism

Brands are sometimes mentioned: Arby's, Del Taco.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In one episode Ray Wise asks "Have you ever tried ecstasy? It's wonderful."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Newsreaders is a spinoff of Adult Swim series Children's Hospital, and shares its "no sacred cows" sensibility when it comes to mocking television news magazines and the stories they cover. There's a fair amount of adult material on the show, such as one segment that discusses the history of "f--k vans." Expect jokes about prostitutes, the trend of celebrities coming out, and many more controversial topics. You also get cursing (lots of bleeped "f--k" and "s--t"), mentions of drugs and alcohol, and women in their bras. All that said, Newsreaders is sporadically hysterical, particularly for viewers old and or sophisticated enough to get the jokes.

What's the story?

From the comedy minds that brought you medical-show spoof Children's Hospital comes NEWSREADERS, a mocking takeoff of the type of TV newsmagazines that report on water skiing squirrels and new diets with incredible self-seriousness. Mather Zickel is Louis LaFonda, host of Newsreaders, with a cast of field reporters that bring back the dirt on such (imaginary) American pop-culture phenomenon as "f--k vans" and teen golf training camps that double as Al Qaeda sleeper cells. Ray Wise is a disgruntled, Andy Rooney-esque commentator who rails against modern rubber-soled shoes and spouts such non-sequiturs as "Have you ever tried ecstasy? It's wonderful." Like most Adult Swim shows, each episode is 15 minutes long.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's much to mock in television newsmagazines that report with gravity on absolutely ridiculous people and things, and Newsreaders finds a lot of funny in both the deadpan reporting style and the topics reported on. The show is always funny enough to keep a smile on your face, and frequently laugh-out-loud amusing, though filthy enough that parents watching with teens may be occasionally discomfited, as when a "celebrity chef" affirms that "Mark my words, human sperm is the new bacon." Pause. "Human sperm."

One of the choicest pleasures of watching Newsreaders is watching a parade of wacky guest stars deliver -- Dan Rather talks about his new connection with the Dirty South hip hop scene, Kate Walsh sits in a chair and laughs her head off with LaFonda for no reason at all, Aaron Staton (Ken on Mad Men), almost unrecognizable in college-kid wear instead of slicked-back hair and a suit, as a horny dorm rat. Teens won't get who these people are and why mom and dad are laughing, but laugh mom and dad will.

Families can talk about...

  • Have you ever seen the type of show Newsreaders is mocking, such as Entertainment Tonight or 60 Minutes? How is Newsreaders like those shows? Do they have similar reporting styles? Choice of subjects? Graphics? How is Newsreaders unlike those shows?

  • Watch an episode of 60 Minutes together. After watching, discuss whether knowing the roots of Newsreader's satire makes the show funnier.

  • There are many shows on that mock the news, such as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart or the Colbert Report. Why is now a fertile time to make fun of the daily news and political views in our country? What does it say about the way we view television news, and reporting in general?

This review of Newsreaders was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written bySalebxy January 25, 2013
age 3+
 

Re: Music! Why'd you quit? The viola is a lovely instrument. In fact, I like it better than the violin, partly because the violin has the E-string which I can't

In the legendary words of...someone: "Practice makes perfect." Especially when playing a musical instrument. Unless you're tone-deaf.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheBombFunn May 11, 2013
age 14+
 

Crap

???????????
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 8, 10, 12, and 15 year old Written bynot educated June 17, 2015
age 18+
 

look what you did to my daughter!

I think neighbor carl, might be a pedophile, but the kids are worse then, warden or etc. They be turnin' my tween into a psychopath!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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