A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than educate.
The cast is overwhelmingly one-dimensional, in particular the two girls: one a brainless blonde who's mostly eye candy for the guys and the other who's tough and sharp-tongued. There's nothing realistic about the content, and there's no consequence for the characters' actions. In some cases, a challenge brings the team together, but not everyone pulls his or her weight equally.
Positive Role Models
The lone adult is jealous and vindictive, determined to manipulate the teens' efforts to regain control of her company. Teens rarely stray from their preconceived personality types, making their responses to various scenarios easy to predict.
Violence & Scariness
Collisions, crashes, explosions, and pratfalls, but no injuries.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple of teen crushes, but no physical contact.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Some Assembly Required is a comedy series about teens who run a toy-manufacturing company. The characters are mostly superficial, filling easily quantified roles such as the brainiac, the geek, and the fashionista (in this case, a guy). The two girls are particularly pigeonholed; one is smart but acerbic, and the other is of no intellectual value to the team (a point that's made time and again), but she serves as eye candy for the guys. There's little worrisome content, but don't expect many solid messages, as the teens make their own rules and never face consequences for any mistakes they make.
Is It Any Good?
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED plays up character stereotypes for laughs and to compensate for its otherwise mediocre content. It's obvious within minutes of watching which role each character is meant to play, from disparaging fashion critic Aster to dim thrill-seeker Knox. Worst of the bunch is Geneva, the team's resident dumb blonde who's never shy about showing off her intellectual shortcomings. Of course, only her female counterpart, Piper, seems bothered by it; the guys are all too happy to concentrate on her looks more than on her brain.
Even so, kids won't be turned off by this any more than they'll critique this Canadian show's other stumbling block: its complete dismissal of any resemblance of reality. Both qualities make for a lot of absurd situations and laughs, but they also send mixed messages about how relationships -- and success -- are forged in the real world. Granted, there's kid-size fun to be had in some of the team's toy creations (a harmonica that sounds like multiple instruments? Yes, please!), but if yours do tune in, be sure to point out to them the instances in which the characters' reality diverges from yours.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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