A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show makes light of serious current events such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the shooting of Trayvon Martin, garnering laughs from the characters' heated discussions over the matters. Racial profiling, political protests, and police violence are comedy material. It's also meant to be funny that Cynthia is a Bible-thumper who's always ready with a religious reference for any scenario.
Positive Role Models
A mixed bag. Characters exhibit negative traits such as selfishness, greed, and frustration at times. In other cases, they show genuine concern for other people and a desire to make a difference.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The main characters live together and are shown in bed, though physical contact usually stops at kissing. Sex often comes up in conversations, as when a man talks about entering a room and smelling "sex musk" after intercourse has occurred.
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"Hell," "ass," and "damn," plus terms such as "pissed off."
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Products & Purchases
Many pop-culture and current-events references, including McDonald's, Sex in the City, Banana Republic, and The Book of Mormon.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Carmichael Show is a sitcom inspired by stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who also plays the titular character. The show explores highly charged current events such as the Trayvon Martin shooting, standoffs between protestors and police, and allegations of racial profiling, mostly with a liberal-leaning stance and always with a sense of humor. Some will find this funny; others may be offended by its prominent place in a comedy series. Either way, it raises some serious topics you should consider talking about with your teens if they tune in. Expect some language ("damn," "hell," and "ass") and references to sex.
Is It Any Good?
This sitcom's talented cast takes material borrowed from Carmichael's stand-up routines and runs with it, so much so that the assumed star fades from prominence in the company of Devine and Grier. This family definitely puts the fun back into dysfunction, what with Cynthia's Bible-thumping, Joe's overblown opinions, and Bobby and Nekeisha's indeterminate post-divorce relationship. By comparison, Jerrod and Maxine come across as a bit boring, making the scenes that omit their entourage feel underplayed.
It's not the first sitcom to tap into the ills of unwelcome family influence for laughs (think Everybody Loves Raymond meets The Nutty Professor), and The Carmichael Show is inarguably funny, but it also takes a big chance by going political with much of its content. Rather than giving viewers a 30-minute escape from real life, the show leans on current incarnations of issues such as racial profiling, gun violence, police brutality, and civil disobedience, referencing divisive news events by name and making light of the fallout. It's a bold line to walk, especially for a traditional sitcom, but it could be the key that keeps people watching.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.