Review

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Review TV Poster Image
Sex and drug jokes in hilarious show satirizing critics.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Antisocial behaviors such as becoming addicted to cocaine and stealing are rated with few stars, though positive messages are often subverted by jokes that slyly suggest antisocial behaviors have their fun sides, too.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite his zany antics, Forrest MacNeil is a faithful dad and husband with caring relatives and neighbors. It's hard to see him as a role model, however, when he's gleefully throwing himself into bizarre challenges.
 

Violence

Guns are shown on-screen and talked about, though they're not fired.

Sex

There are frequent sexual jokes, and some review challenges are sexual, such as ones in which MacNeil challenges himself to have sex with a celebrity or make a sex tape. People appear naked on-screen with private parts blurred, and in one vivid scene MacNeil romps on a bed with a sex doll.

Language

Some cursing, usually bleeped, and generally uttered in frustration ("I want to do the same s--t you do!") rather than fury. There also are references to sexual acts and body parts -- for example, a discussion of a "vibrating realistic vagina."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

At least one challenge centers around addiction, and we see MacNeil drink, smoke, and snort cocaine after carefully cutting it into lines. He then proceeds to cheerfully become an addict and happily head off to rehab, giving cocaine a rating of "a million stars!" After he returns, he soberly rates addiction a half star.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Review is a satirical show aimed at adults in which an actor humorously tries out different life experiences -- some including sex or drugs -- and gives them a starred review. There are many potentially offensive quests, including ones in which addiction, racism, stealing, making a sex tape, and having sex with a celebrity are tried. Sexual acts are comical with body parts blurred out. There is frequent, mild cursing ("hell," "damn"), as well as four-letter words bleeped out. Nonetheless, antisocial acts are generally given low ratings and reviewed as unpleasant, whereas gentler thrills, such as pretending to be a superhero, are described more positively, which sends an overall message parents may not mind mature teens getting -- if they're not turned off by the sex and drug content.

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What's the story?

Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly) is a reviewer, he tells us in the intro to his show, REVIEW, but he doesn't review movies, books, or restaurants. Instead, he reviews life experiences, heading off on quests to do such things as hunting, becoming a racist, or making love to a celebrity, which is complicated by the presence of his wife, Suzanne (Jessica St. Clair). MacNeil doesn't necessarily enjoy these life experiences, mind you. But there's no limit to his zeal to explore everything life has to offer -- and to give it a star rating.

Is it any good?

Okay, we see the irony in reviewing a show that reviews things, and we get the central joke of Review: that everything in life is now up for critical commentary, and everyone's a critic. It's a sly, subversive joke indeed, and one that Review is too smart to underline. Instead, the show focuses on the suitably absurd repercussions of MacNeil doing stuff like asking his beloved wife for a divorce in pursuit of a new experience or asking his kid's babysitter to her senior prom (and then doing cocaine with the popular kids in the bathroom).

But in contrast to what you'd see on lesser shows, MacNeil's sitcom-ish hijinks actually have consequences. At the end of the divorce-review show, wife Suzanne doesn't laugh at her wacky husband's crazy job and agree to forget it all just in time for the next episode. She actually dumps her husband, who then careens miserably through subsequent quests. The mix of over-the-top and realistic is odd, but it's also funny and fresh.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Review is funny. What types of things are usually reviewed online? Is Review pointing out anything about these reviews or the people who write them?

  • Which life experiences would you like to review? In general, how many stars do you rate your life so far?

  • Is the audience supposed to find MacNeil ridiculous or relatable? How can you tell?

TV details

For kids who love laughs

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