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 British sketch comedy series pokes fun at exaggerated character stereotypes (a crotchety grandma, an impertinent teen, etc.) as well as issues like mental health, homosexuality, and body humor. Strong language and mature themes are the main concerns, but it's likely that little of what's shown here will be new to teens. (It's worth noting that the show is a big hit with British kids, who've latched on to several of its catchphrases.)
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What's the story?
In British sketch comedy series THE CATHERINE TATE SHOW, comedienne Catherine Tate stars as a multitude of outrageous characters whose various antics are fodder for the show's rib-tickling humor. The multi-talented Tate -- whose comedy style is reminiscent of Tracey Ullman -- plays a bevy of regular characters, including an overtly effeminate middle-aged man who scathingly responds to assumptions that he's gay with a condescending "How very dare you"; an uncouth woman who often finds herself in embarrassing situations; a crotchety elderly woman who hides a foul-mouthed, racist side; and an impertinent teen who's never without something to say (often along the lines of a bored "Am I bovvered?" -- which has become a huge catchphrase in England) about life's little travesties. Each episode includes about eight brief skits, with Tate bolstered by a revolving cast of supporting comics.
Is it any good?
In addition to starring in the series, Tate also writes much of the material; the outcome is 40 minutes of very satisfying comedy -- especially for those who appreciate British humor (though Tate's talent allows her to transcend the cultural barrier). But check it out before letting your teens tune in, as the language can be strong and issues like sexuality are often at the heart of the humor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about comedy in entertainment. How does the comedy in this series compare to others you've seen? How would you describe this comedy style? Is it funny to you? What parts were the most entertaining? Were there any parts that you just didn't get? How much does a person's culture affect their grasp of certain types of humor? What are some of your favorite funny shows or movies? What do you like about them?
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