The Soup

 
Snarky TV roundup skewers celebs and pop culture.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's nothing overtly positive going on; the general idea is to make fun of -- and encourage -- outrageous behavior and television foibles.

Positive role models

Want positive role models? Keep looking. Most of the time, the real-life people and celebrities featured on the show are being held up for public ridicule because of their bad and/or strange behavior. McHale positions himself as being somewhat "above it all," but he also seems to relish celebs' embarrassing missteps.

Violence

Occasional replay of mildly violent scenes from other shows.

Sex

Regular mentions of threesomes, erections, sexual promiscuity, and the like, along with occasional clips from other shows showing characters making out, etc.

Language

Some use of "hell" and "damn," but bleeped swearing is rare.

Consumerism

Occasional mention of brand names (including Viagra, Playboy, etc.).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Regular mentions of celebrities and/or fictional characters who use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Clips from other shows sometimes include shots of partying/drunken cast members.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, because this "highlights" show rounds up the best of the worst when it comes to television and pop culture, teens who watch will be exposed to an ever-changing roster of iffy content. Any given episode could include mentions of threesomes and drunken outbursts or clips of two scantily clad people sharing a bed. But it could also feature relatively harmless compilations of Paula Abdul saying ridiculous things like "I love you. I want to hang you from a string on my rearview mirror." You never know. The tone is generally snarky and sarcastic, inviting viewers to join in on the fun of mocking celebs and reality show stars.

What's the story?

In THE SOUP, host Joel McHale shepherds viewers through an unruly landscape of mostly bad television, pointing out each week's most embarrassing and ridiculous moments via video clips -- and making fun of them accordngly. Although some newsy tidbits pop up from time to time, this is no news show; it's essentially a roundup of pop culture minutae. Regular segments include "Chat Stew," "Reality Show Clip Time!" and "Let's Take Some E!"

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you're a pop culture junkie and can't stay away from shows that are so bad that they're somehow good, The Soup actually makes your life easier. "We watch so you don't have to," goes the show's motto -- and that pretty much sums up its value. Don't have time to watch trainwreck-worthy fare like Kendra or The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Let The Soup watch for you and collect the most cringe-worthy stuff. Don't really want to watch The Wendy Williams Show but can't help being fasincated by her antics? No problem. The Soup is here.

Of course, neither The Soup nor its irreverant host take themselves seriously -- and neither should you. After all, the show isn't meant to be anything more than pure guilty pleasure entertainment ... and in that department, it delivers in spades.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether shows like this point out the absurdity of TV programming or merely feed the beast. Why do shows with the most ridiculous content tend to be the most popular? Why are so-called "train wrecks" so appealing?

  • How does this show treat celebrities? Does it revere them or tear them down? Are most of the celebs featured good role models or bad ones?

  • How do you think the show chooses which "stories" to run? Do you ever learn something by watching, or is it just mindless entertainment?

TV details

Cast:Joel McHale
Network:E!
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14

This review of The Soup was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old February 10, 2010
age 11+
 
I watch this for brain-numming fun! I love it! Some concerns for parents, though. Be careful if you are younger, but this is HILLARIOUS!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 15 years old Written byPoison Ivey July 20, 2010
age 14+
 
I love Joel McHale! He is hilarious! His show is just the right comedy relief and totally makes fun of people! So funnt! five stars! I have nothing but good things to say about this show. I love his point of view and how he only seems to make fun of well-hated celebrities who almost always deserve whats coming to them!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old June 27, 2010
age 8+
 

off for immatyre 7 and under

this show is so funny

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