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 Tom and Jerry Show relies heavily on consequence-free violence between the main characters as its primary means of comedy. Tom and Jerry plot each other's destruction in painful ways, from running headfirst into a wall to being trapped and shaken in a bottle. Even those around them are sucked into the exchanges and come away dazed, hurt, and often unfairly implicated in the chaos, thanks to the scheming cat and mouse. The show makes no attempt to illustrate real-world consequences for such actions, leaving kids without any guidance for appropriate conflict resolution.
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What's the story?
The world's most famous cat-and-mouse duo return to the small screen in THE TOM AND JERRY SHOW, a revamped version of the much-loved original series. Once again the contentious housemates face off in battles of brains and brawn, with Tom attempting to ensnare his mousy counterpart and Jerry relying on his wit to outsmart the bigger, stronger feline. This time, though, their spats aren't always domestic in nature, as many episodes see the characters in new settings and incorporate a rotating cast of supporting characters.
Is it any good?
The Tom and Jerry Show leans heavily on the legacy of the original series for its central relationship between the cat and the mouse, and their combative exchanges don't miss a beat following the example of the classic. Sure, the show is visually amusing, but when you get right down to it, it's little more than a series of violent encounters between two frenemies, neither of whom ever faces consequences for his actions. Tom sends Jerry crashing into a wall, Jerry stabs Tom's finger with a needle, and they both laugh when a would-be peacemaker gets crushed by a falling hutch -- this is the caliber of the show's many laughs, and the messages they send your kids are concerning.
Apart from updated animation and a new round of scenery and supporting characters, there's little to make this show stand out from those that have come before it. Even so, fans of the original will notice that none of the dated content that made the original iffy for youngsters (smoking, mild sexual innuendo) are present here, so in that regard, it's slightly better suited for kids than is the first series. Ultimately, though, the question remains whether this brand of chronic, mindless violence is the best form of entertainment for your kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship. Could it be said that Tom and Jerry are ever friends? When they do work together, are there ulterior motives at play? How does it feel when a friend hurts your feelings?
Kids: What do you think of all the fighting in this show? Is there ever a point to the kind of conflict Tom and Jerry have with each other? What are some better ways to resolve differences with your peers?
Families can talk about their media rules. Kids: What rules does your family have for screen time? What forms of media are included in those limits? What are some fun alternatives to watching TV?
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