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Parents' Guide to

The Amber Ruffin Show

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Playful humor, sly commentary in groundbreaking talk show.

The Amber Ruffin Show Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (2 ):

Amber Ruffin is adorable, but don't let the whimsical demeanor fool you: She's whip-smart, well aware of the realities of being an American Black woman, and expert at wrapping sly commentary in humor. Her groundbreaking talk show has all the trappings of a traditional late-night gabfest (a monologue, a cityscape background, a focus on the news of the day) but it has one thing the other shows don't: Amber Ruffin. And that's worth something. The realities of launching the type of show that's usually filmed in front of a live, appreciative audience mean that Ruffin is alone in the studio, save for the presence of her second banana, Tarik Davis, and that makes Ruffin's show seem a little strange and airless at first. Without the sound of a guffawing audience, how are we supposed to know when to laugh?

But The Amber Ruffin Show coasts easily on the charm of Ruffin's skits: Fun Auntie (in which Ruffin rifles through a giant purse, dispensing tart advice and loving support in turns), the White Forgiveness Clock (Ruffin sets a countdown clock for when White people need no longer focus on racism, yet it keeps getting reset as another atrocity is committed against a Black person). And best of all, The Cool Down, which Ruffin says should ease the anxiety viewers might feel after watching a news-oriented show. Her head floats in front of calming footage of beautiful water, a cooling fruit pie, and a man pushing a woman on a swing as she recites a list of beautiful things: "A sneezing puppy... a perfectly cooked lasagna... headphones coming out of your pocket perfectly untangled." The news looks better through Amber Ruffin's point of view -- aren't we lucky we can borrow it for a half hour every week?

TV Details

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