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 teens may already be familiar with comedian Stevie Ryan thanks to her popular YouTube videos of impressions of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, but this sketch comedy series is too racy for all but the most mature. Language is excessive at times ("f--k" and "f--kface" are bleeped, but "p---y," "s--t," "whore," "ho," "ass," and the like are audible), there's a lot of drinking and lighthearted references to drug use (including a laughing caution to "not get roofied"), and there's the obvious concern about poking fun at other people for laughs. As if that's not enough, explicit sexual content is rampant: Women are shown pole dancing, there's mention of using food as sex toys, and, in at least one case, there's a visual effect of ejaculation. Adults might find some of the impressions -- and the over-the-top content -- funny, but there's little to recommend it for teens.
What's the story?
STEVIE TV is a scripted sketch comedy starring comedienne Stevie Ryan, who rose to fame on YouTube with her impersonations of modern celebs like Kim Kardashian and Kendra Wilkinson. Ryan spoofs the behavior of these and other reality TV stars, as well as singers like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga, all of whom are played by the versatile comedian. When she's not knocking pop-culture personalities, she also satirizes late-night infomercials, talk shows, and the occasional less-controversial celeb.
Is it any good?
So here's the good news: Ryan saves the worst of her raunchy, red-letter impressions for victims who've brought the unforgiving public spotlight on themselves, rather than for innocent bystanders. Colorful personalities from reality shows like Mob Wives and multiple Real Housewives series, former Playmates with X-rated pasts, and, of course, the Kardashian clan -- all are subject to Ryan's relentless mockery. But we all know it's easy to laugh at the expense of stars whose real personas seem almost as outrageous as people's impersonations of them. But even though there's less guilt because of who these victims are, it still raises some issues about the kinds of messages this type of entertainment sends to impressionable viewers.
And speaking of viewers, while Stevie TV clearly aims to draw in the very teens who might be entranced by sensationalist celebrity comings and goings, its content is far from age appropriate for their eyes and ears. Simulated sex (with objects rather than people, for the most part), intimate touching, references to making sex tapes, scenes of "sex messes" (a white puddle on a sheet), and near-constant innuendo leave little to the imagination. Explicit language ("f--k" is bleeped, but that's about it) and jovial references to drinking and using drugs are here, too, which send iffy messages about this kind of behavior. The bottom line? Amid Stevie TV's recycled impressions are some funny moments, especially if you're familiar with Ryan's subjects, but the content is just too risqué for most teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the nature of Stevie TV. Why is it funny to laugh at other people's outrageous behavior? Do you think that makes for good entertainment? Is it ever OK to make fun of someone else? Does it matter who the subject is?
Teens: How has the Internet changed how we're entertained? Do you watch videos on sites like YouTube? Why do you think people post their videos online for everyone to see? Are there any dangers related to it?
Do you think celebrities feel a responsibility to act a certain way because of the spotlight? Are any of them good role models? Is it fair that their every move is scrutinized? How "real" do you think what we see of them is? What, if any, benefits could they get from behaving badly?