Some Assembly Required

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Some Assembly Required TV Poster Image
Mundane comedy plays superficial characters for laughs.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than educate. 

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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. 

Sexy Stuff

A couple of teen crushes, but no physical contact. 

Language

"Shut up." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4, 6, and 14 year old Written byjanesta d. March 10, 2017

Want to enforce stereotypes?

My husband let my 4- and 6-year-olds watch this. I thought it was harmless, until I started paying attention. The first time I watched this show, I assumed i... Continue reading
Parent Written byClarissa H. November 1, 2016

Stereotypical

After watching a few episodes with my kids I was disappointed in the stereotypes. The blonde girl is pretty and dumb, the goth girl is smart and "ugly... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 21, 2016

Most stereotypical show I've ever seen

I was immediately drawn to this show after watching an episode or 2. It's funny, but I am mad at myself for thinking this. I wish I hadn't watched it.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bybadabingbadaboom October 19, 2016

Why

The opening song is A+ but the show itself sucks - the acting is bad and the jokes are forced and the laugh track? Terrible. Doesn't belong there. Show doe... Continue reading

What's the story?

When a twist of fate awards Jarvis (Kolton Stewart) the reins to Knickknack Toys, he hires a team of friends to help him run the business and create new products. There's tech wiz Piper (Charlie Storwick), fearless Knox (Dylan Playfair), trend-savvy Aster (Travis Turner), and beautiful Geneva (Sydney Scotia), with Jarvis' best friend, Bowie (Harrison Houde), rounding out the crew. But when former owner Candace (Ellie Harvey) infiltrates headquarters posing as the cleaning lady, Mrs. Bubkes, she tries to undermine their work and prove that these kids can't take the heat, thereby reclaiming the company she built. Can this group of teens prove they have what it takes to create marketable (and workable) products?

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stereotypes. Are they always negative, or can there be positive stereotypes? Is it ever appropriate to judge a person on his or her appearance? 

  • This show suggests that there are some jobs that could be done better by kids or teens than adults. Can you think of an instance in which that might be true? How could both sides benefit from cooperating to complete a task? 

  • Kids: How would you improve on or reinvent your favorite toy(s)? As technology improves, how does our expectations of what entertains us change as well? What rules does your family have for screen time, and why? 

TV details

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