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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 comedy may be animated, but it's not meant for young kids. Created by King of the Hill's Mike Judge, it centers on an ultra "green" family and explores the inherent conflict in the their struggle to resist modern consumer society. There's some drinking and some honest and open talk about sexuality, but on the whole the series is fairly clean. Still, kids may not get much of the humor, and the satire will definitely be appreciated most by teens and up.
really good show
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What's the Story?
THE GOODE FAMILY are doing their best to live a good life. They're vegans; dad Gerald (voiced by creator Mike Judge) rides his bike whenever possible and drives a hybrid when he can't; mom Helen (Nancy Carell) shops organic; and they all struggle to act politically correct at all times. When in doubt about whether something is good for the Earth, they have a simple test: WWAGD -- What Would Al Gore Do? Adopted son Ubuntu (David Herman), a hulking white lad from South Africa (they wanted to adopt an African baby, but to their chagrin weren't specific enough on the application forms) is happy to join in, but teenage daughter Bliss (Linda Cardellini) often finds herself mortified by her parents' dedication to a socially conscious lifestyle. As the show makes clear, it's sometimes a challenge to live according to your ideals; or, as Helen often ponders, "Why is being good so hard?"
Is It Any Good?
Judge is best known for his earlier animated show King of the Hill, which skewered, in a loving way, middle America (and he's also the guy who brought us Beavis and Butt-head). He brings the same affection to this series; the Goodes are a loving family just trying to do the right thing in a world that makes it much easier to succumb to consumerism. They're all decent people at heart, though their efforts to live responsibly -- mirroring the real-life choices of many outspoken activists -- are ready-made for mockery.
The premise is perfect, and so is the execution -- especially the details. When Helen picks up some apples at the local One Earth market, for example, she has to choose between conventionally harvested ($3.99 a pound), organic ($5.49), sustainably harvested organic ($6.99), locally grown sustainably harvested organic ($8.49), and fair trade locally grown sustainably harvested certified organic (for the oh-so-reasonable price of just $10.99 a pound -- a bargain considering the benefits to the world). No wonder it's so hard to be good! But it sure is fun to watch them try.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about living a socially conscious lifestyle. Are you interested in trying to minimize your impact on the planet?
Do you think it would be easy to give up meat or driving or fruit that's not produced in a sustainable manner? What are some other choices that people might make in the name of living a green, politically correct life?
Do you think this can be taken too far -- do some of these choices seem too extreme? Is this show celebrating the "green" lifestyle, satirizing it, or both?
- Premiere date: May 27, 2009
- Cast: David Herman, Mike Judge, Nancy Carell
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: March 11, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
King of the Hill
Wickedly funny at times, but not for all tastes.
Clever, fast-paced cartoon with edgy humor.
Contrary to its title, this isn't a family show.
For kids who love quirky comedy
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate