Parents' Guide to

The Substitute

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Funny hidden-camera show lets celebrities prank students.

The Substitute Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1 ):

This series plays out much like you'd expect: The substitutes put on a show of incompetence and daftness that inspires incredulousness and a lot of hilarity in the classrooms. There are quirky habits, physical blunders with messy results, and curriculum content that's suspicious at best. With expert special effects people on the job, the transformations are impressive enough to give the unsuspecting students little reason to think anything's up, which makes the big reveals a lot of fun.

Shows like The Substitute are designed to get laughs at the expense of two groups: While the students can't help poking fun at the prankster, they're ultimately the real brunt of the bigger joke. Because it's all in good fun and ends with the thrill of the kids getting to meet the celebrity, it's a feel-good show that can inspire conversations about bullying and the difference between laughing with people and laughing at them.

TV Details

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