A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The value of a tight-knit, happy family is central to the show, though some stereotypes about race and government workers is fodder for comedy.
Positive Role Models
William personifies the modern family man who strives to balance the needs of his wife and kids with the demands of his job. He and his wife have each other to lean on, and their relationship is a high point in this mediocre show. Extended members are a little more stereotypical, including a boisterous, man-hungry middle-age woman and a mischievous, free-spirited grandfather. Some supporting characters also represent slightly negative personas of generic political figures and government workers.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some suggestive content and dialogue ("This is turning me on," for instance) between married partners who swap playful bedroom talk, embrace, and kiss. A middle-aged woman's quest for love means a lot of shameless flirting, and the kids/tweens tease each other about boyfriends and girlfriends.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The First Family centers on an African-American president and his extended family in the White House, but despite its obvious similarities to the Obamas, it isn't intended to parody them. What it does parody, to some degree, are the inner workings of the White House and the Oval Office, at times poking fun at the nature of various administrative positions like vice president and the secret service staff. The show focuses more on family dynamics than on the main character's presidency, and here viewers get to see a happy family unit with ingrained (if slightly gender-biased) roles and responsibilities, and some sweet moments between siblings and parents. Expect a few references to sexuality between married partners and some implied sexual gestures between single adults.
Is It Any Good?
Despite creator Byron Allen's assurance that the characters are entirely fictionalized, it's tough not to view The First Family as a comical commentary on the country's real-life first African-American president, especially given that some of Duncan's mannerisms bear a pretty strong resemblance to President Obama's. Perhaps adults can separate the fact from the fiction here, but that won't be the case for kids, who would leave the show with some pretty firm misconceptions about the inner workings of the upper levels of government thanks to what amounts to parodied characterizations of officials and staff members.
What this show does have going for it is a talented veteran cast that counts scene-stealers like Gladys Knight, Jackee Harry, John Witherspoon, and Marla Gibbs among its supporting members. Sadly, though, the lethargic writing and corny plots don't capitalize on the abilities of this stellar crew, leaving the audience expecting a lot more than it offers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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