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 this hidden-camera series from some of the folks behind Punk'd isn't as mean-spirited as its MTV cousin. Unsuspecting wedding guests find themselves at the receiving end of elaborate practical jokes designed and choreographed by their friends and a team of improv actors. While most of them handle their victimization well in the end, their emotional distress is obvious as the jokes play out. Parents' main concern here is occasional strong language ("hell" is the worst of it, and rare uses of "f--k" are bleeped), but young tweens may need to be reminded that although practical jokes can be funny, it's not always fun to be the one in the hot seat.
What's the story?
In THE REAL WEDDING CRASHERS, a five-person troop of improv actors teams up with couples who want to create a memorable experience for their guests by crashing their own weddings. The couples featured in this series embrace those worrisome \"what-ifs\" such as the cake tumbling off the table, the dress meeting with misfortune, the minister repeatedly forgetting the bride's name, and so on, and purposely incorporate them into their weddings -- so, by the end of the big day, their unsuspecting guests are left wondering what else could possibly go wrong. Each episode follows one couple's story, introducing the bride and groom and telling viewers a little about how they met and fell in love. But most of each duo's camera time is spent detailing their reasons for planning such unique nuptials. Then, with help from improv actors Gareth Reynolds, Catherine Reitman, Ben Gleib, Desi Lydic, and Steve Byrne -- all of whom assume personalities like \"obnoxious wedding guest\" or \"forgetful minister\" -- the couple sets about planning a wedding full of outrageous pranks and mishaps their guests won't soon forget.
Is it any good?
When this show's practical jokers reveal their true identities, it's anyone's guess as to how the unsuspecting wedding guests will react. (Some are quite distraught, though most recover their good spirits relatively quickly.) Inspired by the hit movie The Wedding Crashers and produced by the Punk'd duo of Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, The Real Wedding Crashers is lots of fun for viewers who love practical jokes. And since there's little to worry about beyond occasional strong language, older tweens and teens can join their parents for the good-natured pranks -- just be sure to remind your kids that when they're taken too far, jokes can be hurtful.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about practical jokes. Tweens: Have you ever played a practical joke on someone? When it was over, did the "victim" think it was funny? Have you ever been the butt of a joke? How did it feel? When are jokes harmless, and when do they hurt? What's the difference between laughing at someone and laughing with them? Which do you see more of in the media?