Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell

Common Sense Media says

Talk show tackles race and controversy with edgy humor.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series uses humor to discuss current events and takes a decidedly liberal stance on an array of issues.

Positive role models

Bell offers edgy, smart, and politically left comments about the world and maintains an appealing humility throughout the process.

Violence

Violence is discussed as it relates to current events, stereotypes about certain people, and popular culture.

Sex

Occasionally features images of women in skimpy outfits, which sometimes show the sides of women's breasts. References are also made to sexual acts and inappropriate sexual behavior in the context of news commentary.

Language

The word "pissed" is visible in the opening credits; the word "s--t" is sometimes audible. Racial epithets like the "N" word and "cracker" are frequently used.

Consumerism

Publications and items from event like Comic Con and other popular culture events are sometimes featured.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, and the consumption of illegal drugs are sometimes discussed.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Totally Biased is a late-night talk show featuring comedian W. Kamau Bell's trademark sharp humor as he discusses various (and often controversial) subjects. It contains some strong language ("pissed," "s--t"), racial epithets (including the "N" word), and sexual references. There are lots of discussions about race/ethnicity and other issues that are potentially empowering, but their significance may not be easily understood by younger or less mature viewers.
 

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

TOTALLY BIASED WITH W. KAMAU BELL features the comedian as he offers his thoughts about issues and events taking place around the country. The series, which is co-executively produced by Chris Rock, features Bell offering his biting commentary about race, religion, politics, and popular culture, as well as humorous interview sketches filmed at various locations around New York City. Video clips of recent news events are also shown. Towards the end of each episode, the cable-TV host interviews a special guest, including The Daily Show correspondent John Oliver, and comedians like Lewis Black and Wanda Sykes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Totally Biased contains some edgy -- but entertaining -- discussions about some controversial issues with a liberal bent. But while it generates some laughs, it lacks some of the high-quality writing and well-timed comments that cable shows like The Daily Show and Real Time With Bill Maher are known for. As a result, some of the humor falls a little flat, while other moments are just plain awkward.

It's not as risqué as some other late-night cable talk shows, but the host's unapologetically blunt discussions about race and ethnicity (which is sometimes punctuated by the use of the "N" word) may make some viewers uncomfortable. Nonetheless, the series is a platform for discussing these issues from a point of view that some feel is ignored by the media. There are some empowering messages here, but they will likely be best appreciated by more mature viewers.
 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how television is used to talk about contemporary issues. Is a talk show an appropriate format to discuss controversial issues, like race or religion? Do you think a talk show host's job is to be an advocate for an issue or good role model for a community?

  • Is using stereotypes and/or racial epithets an appropriate way of discussing differences between various races and/or ethnic communities? What if a community embraces the stereotype as an acceptable way of describing themselves?

TV details

Cast:W. Kamau Bell
Networks:FX, FXX
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:Streaming

This review of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator and Parent Written byTimidObserver September 17, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Mildly entertaining, great for kids.

Its funny in small doses and has some unsuitable but it presents strong, positive messages about the world that kids probably won't fully grasp but it is certainly a positive role model program.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide