A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to now that The Joel McHale Show is a talk show starring actor and comedian Joel McHale. It consists of McHale making fun of various clips of reality TV, sports, soap operas, web videos, and more, which means it's never exactly clear what the content on display is going to be. It's very similar to The Soup, which McHale hosted for 11 years on E!, but there's now more latitude as far as language, which includes "f--k" and "s--t," and subject matter. Teens may recognize McHale from Community, but here he's uncensored and the comic targets are more unpredictable.
What's the story?
Joel McHale, who some may recognize from sitcoms like Community, or The Great Indoors, returns to his roots in Netflix's THE JOEL MCHALE SHOW WITH JOEL MCHALE. Essentially a reboot of the E! channel's show The Soup, which McHale hosted from 2004 until its cancellation in 2015, The Joel McHale Show features the titular host making fun of absurd clips from reality shows, talk shows, and soaps in his signature snarky style, punctuated with his ever-present smirk of disbelief. The show also features scripted comedy sketches and surprise guests like Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, and Paul Reiser.
Is it any good?
McHale can still deliver a punchline, and there's certainly no shortage of content out there to ridicule, but it's not always kind or gentle. There's a danger to doing this kind of comedy: He risks coming across like a bully taking potshots at easy targets. However, McHale's innate likability makes him seem more like a bemused everyman as opposed to a smug, mean-spirited jerk (see Daniel Tosh) or an aloof know-it-all (see Dennis Miller). There's a lot more competition in this arena these days then when The Soup premiered, meaning McHale and his writers will need to work harder to bring big laughs if The Joel McHale Show is going to stand out among all the other media-mocking shows currently populating YouTube, podcasts, and late-night TV.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what's funny and why. How would you classify the humor on The Joel McHale Show? When is laughing at something OK and when could it be considered mean-spirited?
What does it mean to be snarky? What are some of the characteristics of a snarky person? Can you think of other TV personalities or characters that are snarky? What purpose do they usually serve on a show or in a story?
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