A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though the show mines most of its comedy from the generation gap, focusing on the differences between Gen-Xers and millennials (with the occasional cameo from a baby boomer), millennials bear the brunt of the jokes, which rely heavily on stereotypes. There's a subtle message that both groups can contribute something valuable if they can find a way to work together, but it's not an obvious takeaway.
Positive Role Models
The series portrays millennials as shallow, overly sensitive, and, frankly, kind of stupid; on the flip side, the older characters are much wiser (though not necessarily in their personal lives) but way out of touch. Most characters have comedic flaws that make them far from perfect, but they still manage to form a functional team despite their diverse points of view.
Violence & Scariness
Comedic falls, references to a bear eating someone's dog, and the like.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual tension involving a one-night stand with a coworker; references to shared pictures of penises (think "dick pics"); implied sex.
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Characters use words such as "penis" and "gay" (in a derogatory way).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character frequents a bar after work; a secondary character drinks heavily at the office.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Great Indoors focuses on a diverse group of magazine journalists whose work happens almost exclusively online, though they still report to a central office. Standard office hijinx prevail, but you'll hear some references to sexual activity (think office hookups and nude photo-sharing) and see the magazine's founder drinking hard liquor during the day, along with regular scenes set in a bar. Characters use words such as "penis" and "gay" (in a borderline offensive way), and there's some physical violence that's played for comedy.
Is It Any Good?
Take every criticism you've ever read about so-called millennials, set them to a laugh track with a charismatic lead who seems reluctant to repeat them, and you've got a comedy with good potential. Not because it's particularly clever or original -- the multi-camera format feels like a throwback, and most of the jokes rely on stereotypes -- but rather because it manages to put an acceptable spin on otherwise mediocre material. Having McHale in the lead helps a lot, but so does the fact that, at times, The Great Indoors seems willing to cop to its own shortcomings with wry deliveries and self-deprecating digs, even as the tired millennial jokes march on (and on).
While it's true that The Great Indoors makes fun of multiple generations, the millennials really do get short shrift, so it's hard to imagine the series appealing to anyone who falls squarely in that demographic. It's also hard to imagine the show's younger actors not texting each other during a table read about how ridiculous this dialogue makes them sound, which made us wonder what The Great Indoors would be like if they were the ones telling the story -- or at least had more of a say in it.
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.
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