Somebodies

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Somebodies TV Poster Image
Mature college comedy challenges stereotypes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Scottie is supported by friends and family who care about him. Tensions between African Americans and Caucasians and between educated and uneducated African Americans are highlighted but not really explored in depth. Tory refers to lighter-skinned students as having "Pilgrim blood." Stereotypical "yo momma" jokes are often heard, but they're intended to defuse existing stereotypes. Scottie attends church regularly; there are frequent references to Jesus and the Bible.

Violence

Some occasional angry chases. Occasionally Scottie and others make references to killing people.

Sex

Some sexual innuendo, plus hugging, kissing, and subtle references to intercourse. Women are occasionally shown cheating on their boyfriends/husbands and sometimes wear skimpy bathing suits, tight tennis outfits, and other tight/scanty clothing.

Language

Frequent use of the word "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer and cocktails. References are made to smoking pot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sitcom -- which follows young adults as they try to transition from college life to adulthood -- highlights aspects of the Southern African-American college scene, including drinking, smoking, and other mature behavior. The show's humor is driven by a variety of race-related issues and social commentary about the African-American community. Expect some iffy language ("ass" is used frequently), as well as some stereotyping, sexual innuendo, and occasional lighthearted discussions about violent acts.

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What's the story?

Based on the same-named 2006 Sundance film, SOMEBODIES centers on Scottie (Hadjii), a \"professional\" University of Georgia student who's spent his time in school chasing girls, drinking, and generally enjoying the college scene. But now that his housemates Marlo (Nard Holston), Tory (Anthony Hyatt), Six (Quante Strickland), and Jelly (Corey Redding) are close to graduating, he realizes that it's time to take life more seriously. But figuring things out gets complicated as his eccentric family -- including Uncle Skeeter (Carlos Davis), Aunt Agnes (Pat Brown), and Uncle Charles (David Lewis) -- insist on offering him endless advice. Even ex-girlfriend Diva (Kaira Akita) and preacher Reverend Hill (Tyler Craig) offer guidance in hopes of transforming Scottie into a professional somebody.

Is it any good?

Somebodies attempts to reflect the real issues that college-educated African-American young adults face as they transition into the professional world. It also brings up existing racial tensions in America, as well various social issues currently impacting the African-American community -- like absent fathers and self-hatred. But these issues get lost in the show's thin story lines and often-weak humor, which includes the occasional "yo momma" joke (which are ostensibly intended to diffuse existing stereotypes). As a result, the series often comes across as more silly than thought provoking.

That said, the show does offer an image of African Americans that moves away from rapper, gangster, or athlete typecasts. And older teens might be drawn to a show about the Southern African-American college scene. But the show's iffy language, alcohol consumption, and references to drugs and violence make it inappropriate for younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ways that African Americans are portrayed in the media. Do you think shows like this one reinforce or challenge stereotypes about the African-American community? How? Families can also discuss life in and after college. Is it really difficult to go from being a college student to a working adult? Are drinking, partying, and experimenting with drugs always part of college life? Parents, check out our tips for talking to your kids about some of these issues.

TV details

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