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 host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore offers satirical commentary on news events, pop culture, and race relations in this spin-off of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Wilmore pulls no punches in his material, and every story that crosses his desk is thoroughly steamrolled by his sharp, liberal-leaning sarcasm. Many questions are designed to put his guests on the spot, especially when they discuss race, and some jokes really push the envelope on controversial current events. Expect a fair amount of salty language ("s--t," "f---k," and "motherf--ker" are bleeped; "suck it" and the like are audible) and dialogue that references issues such as rape and drugs. If your older teens understand that this show is more about comedy than dispensing objective news, then they (and you) are bound to find Wilmore's considerable talents entertaining.
What's the story?
Larry Wilmore brings his ample experience in comedy writing and guesting directly to his audience in THE NIGHTLY SHOW WITH LARRY WILMORE. The show blends aspects of political-panel shows such as Meet the Press and late-night fare such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as guests join Wilmore to dissect the day's notable issues related to politics, pop culture, and especially race relations in America (the show's original title was The Minority Report). Mining the kind of sarcasm that made him a favorite on The Daily Show as their "Senior Black Correspondent," Wilmore weighs in on current events with humor and wit.
Is it any good?
The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore boldly endeavors to follow in the footsteps of The Colbert Report, a daunting undertaking for even the most skilled of jokesters. Wilmore's ease in front of the camera proves he believes he's up to the job, and his material will illicit laughs, but it often relies on shock value to do so. And even though many aspects of the show are scripted, there's still a freshness to the panel discussions and Q&A sessions, which always yield surprises.
Of course, he's not the first African-American comedian to take jabs at race relations, and that's not the focus of the entire show (though it's often addressed), but as the only African-American late-night host, his remarks on each topic are bound to stand out. Ultimately this show is much like its time-slot peers; if your teens are interested in current events and can differentiate between reality and satire, then Wilmore's considerable talent won't be wasted on them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about messages we get from media. Is there any such thing as truly unbiased news coverage? In today's media culture, does news coverage have to be entertaining to be competitive? Alternately, does entertainment have to be somewhat factual to appeal to viewers?
Do you think Wilmore's assessment of race relations in America is fair? Do you think his quips exaggerate his true feelings on the subject or not? Does content like this, even when it's in jest, have any effect on how viewers see these issues in real life?
Teens: To what degree do you think media should be censored? Is editing language enough, or should that language be omitted altogether? Does seeing sexual content or excessive violence on TV or in video games make it more socially acceptable in the real world? Who should decide these things?
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