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 The Guest Book is an irreverent comedy series about a rustic cabin and the wacky things that happen when folks rent it out for a night. It contains lots of mature themes, ranging from infidelity and divorce to hustling, blackmail, and drugs. There's some cursing, strong innuendo, crude humor, and silhouetted nudity, as well as a few slaps, violent attacks (including fork stabs), kidnappings, and suicide attempts. Weapons, including guns and crossbows, are sometimes a major part of the story. One episode also features some racist epithets (which are viewed negatively). There's also lots of drinking and some drunken behavior; however, it's all in context in this over-the-top comedy.
What's the story?
From My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia comes THE GUEST BOOK, an anthology series about the wacky experiences of guests who rent a rustic mountain cottage. Wilfred (Charles Robinson) and his wife, Emma (Aloma Wright), manage a cluster of cabins in Mount Trace, a place so beautiful that it is referred to as "God's Country." It's a quiet and pretty place, but the guests who stay in the cottage known as Froggy Cottage never seem to have a dull moment while they are there. They are also compelled to write down the details of their crazy experiences in the cabin guest book. Meanwhile, Wilfred and some of the other locals, including Dr. Andrew Brown (Garrett Dillahunt), Officer Kimberly Leahy (Kellie Martin), and local hustler Vivian (Carly Jibson), along with her sensitive stepson, Frank (Lou Wilson), add their own brand of behind-the-scenes madness to the sleepy town.
Is it any good?
Clever and quirky, this irreverent comedy is based on the fictional stories that series creator Greg Garcia wrote in rental cabin guest books during his vacations. From a married couple trying to decompress after the recent birth of their child, to a misguided young Amish man trying to make the most of his rumspringa (year off), the series is full of well-timed quips and laugh-out-loud moments. The colorful roster of Froggy Cottage visitors, played by actors like Jaime Pressly, Stockard Channing, and Orson Bean, also adds to the show's robustness.
Part of the fun comes from catching the instances when the different guests' experiences somehow overlap. But what really makes The Guest Book worth watching is the way each episode tells a story that is funny and fresh. Meanwhile, thanks to some good writing, their brief (albeit wild) experiences are woven into the everyday lives of the locals, who are coping with their own personal issues. If you enjoy shows with lots of smart and derisive wit, no doubt you will find this one very entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about humor. What makes things funny? When does being funny cross the line to being in bad taste or just plain mean? Is it OK to poke fun of serious topics, like religion or drug use? Do you think The Guest Book is funny?
How much of The Guest Book relies on the connections between different Froggy Cottage guests? If they didn't overlap in some way, would it change the dynamic of the overall series?
For kids who love quirky sitcoms
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