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 Neighborhood is a sitcom about a white family that moves into a middle-class black neighborhood right next door to a cantankerous patriarch who doesn't want to see the neighborhood change. Unfortunately, the show's comedy trades in a number of stereotypes and clichéd characters, which doesn't help its attempts to address race relations and complex issues of gentrification and segregation. There's some sexy talk, and jokes that may go over younger viewers' heads.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
THE NEIGHBORHOOD tells the story of two families: the Butlers and the Johnsons. Dave Johnson (New Girl's Max Greenfield), his wife, Gemma (Beth Behrs), and their young son, Grover, have just moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles to their modest new home in a predominantly black neighborhood. Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer), his wife, Tina (Tichina Arnold), and their adult sons, Malcolm (Sheaun McKinney) and Marty (Marcel Spears), live next door. Where Dave is all aw-shucks Midwestern positivity and openness, Calvin is closed-minded and unwelcoming. Will the two families ever get along?
Is it any good?
A good cast is wasted in this lazy, regressive comedy. Comedian Cedric the Entertainer, whose energy is infectious onstage, plays a third-rate blustering Archie Bunker-type delivering cheap insults that are supposed to pass for jokes. Greenfield, who spent seven seasons as the hilariously fastidious Schmidt on New Girl, has to soften his lovably smarmy edges to play the blandly amiable Dave.
Beth Behrs, one of the leads of Two Broke Girls has barely anything to play here, and precocious young Grover (Hank Greenspan) has to be one of the most egregious examples of "sitcom kid who spouts one-liners" in recent memory. The only rays of light in The Neighborhood are Sheaun McKinney and Marcel Spears as the adult Butler sons who manage to find fun and entertaining ways to take satisfaction in exploiting their dad's prejudices. It's just not enough to salvage this unfunny show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about racism and the notion of reverse racism. Do you agree with the way the characters on The Neighborhood define these terms?
What are stereotypes? How can these kinds of characterizations affect our understanding of people from different cultures or races? What are some of the stereotypes present in this show or others you've seen?
For kids who love comedy
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