A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this celebrity satire may look like it's for children since its characters are animated clay figures, but it's definitely not kid material. Skits make merciless fun of celebrities' foibles, mishaps, and personalities (as projected and reported on by the media). Jokes about race, eating disorders, religion, mental illness, and more are at the heart of the show's biting humor. Sexual innuendo/situations, silly violence, and drug and alcohol use are no strangers to the show, either.
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What's the story?
In a funny, twisted take on celebrity voyeurism, STARVEILLANCE merges claymation with tabloid news. Creator Eric Fogel (Celebrity Deathmatch) spins exaggerated, expanded versions of the "real story" behind celebrity news items. Comically embellished clay figures stand in for the celebs as they play out brief, ridiculous scenarios that highlight their personalities as constructed by the media: spoiled Mary Kate and Ashley, power-hungry Barbara Walters, out-of-control Mel Gibson. Each 30-minute episode contains about six skits. While incredibly harsh on its Hollywood victims -- joking about eating disorders, speech impediments, etc. -- Starveillance's biting humor hits its targets, letting the air out of these larger-than-life figures.
Is it any good?
Entirely watchable for its combination of claymation and celeb skewering alone, Starveillance also reminds us how silly our fascination with Hollywood and its spawn really is. Why are we interested in these people? Why is it so hard to turn away? Why are celebs so much fun to tease? What does this say about us?
Parents may prefer that their kids avoid this type of stinging humor -- but if you feel like a challenge, consider using the show as a platform for discussing celebrity culture and our society's fascination with Hollywood figures' highs and lows.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about celebrity culture. What's so fascinating about celebs and their lives? How do you think celebrities influence our own lives and decisions? Do you think you're immune to their influence? How do you see others being influenced by our culture's fascination with the rich and famous? Do you think this is an American phenomenon, or do other cultures engage in celebrity worship as well? How do the media contribute to and shape our obsession with stars? Does this show reinforce that obsession or undermine it?
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