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The Great Debate
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 pop culture-centric show will probably appeal most to viewers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. But older teens might want to watch, too. If they do tune in, they'll hear a fair amount of bleeped language and sexual innuendo (including comments like one panelist's crass claim about Ashlee Simpson's attractiveness: "I'd do her with her old nose"). They'll also hear words like "boner" and "badass" and be treated to debates on the finer points of topics like "real boobs vs. fake boobs."
What's the story?
An ever-changing roster of comedians and low-level celebrities (including Hulk Hogan and Wil Wheaton) weigh the merits of competing pop culture references in THE GREAT DEBATE, a series of one-hour specials airing on VH1 that's similar in format to the network's Best Week Ever. The panel specializes in not-so-burning questions like "Who's the hotter Simspon sister: Jessica or Ashlee?" and "The Snuggie: Genius or not?"
Is it any good?
While it's true that spirited debates like these won't change the world (can't Alf and E.T. both be awesome aliens?), they can be a lot of fun to watch for adults and older teens -- particularly those born early enough to get some of the kitschier references. It's not the funniest play on pop culture VH1 has to offer, and the boxing match-style announcer is kind of annoying. But if you're craving some easily digestible entertainment, this will do in a pinch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's kid-friendlier topics, including "Kittens vs. Puppies," "Alf vs. E.T.," and "Cabbage Patch Kids vs. Tickle-Me Elmo." Do moms and dads tend to agree or disagree with their kids' opinions when it comes to pop culture?
Families can also discuss how the celebrities mentioned in these debates measure up when it comes to role modeling. Do we tend to find celebrity news more or less entertaining when it involves a degree of negative behavior? Why?
And, for fun, kids and parents can each think of other topics to debate at the dinner table. When you're done talking, you can vote on who picked the liveliest topic.