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 Truth Be Told centers on the lives of two racially diverse couples -- one newly married and childless, the other married for five years with a 4-year-old -- who make recurring jokes that rely on stereotypes to make light of racism. There's no nudity and hardly any kissing, but a lot of the story lines are sexual in nature (the guys go to the Adult Film Awards and lie to their wives about it, the guys suspect their new babysitter is a porn star, and the like), so you'll hear adult-flavored innuendo along with body-part slang such as "booty." There's also some social drinking.
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What's the story?
Mitch (Mark Paul Gosselaar) and Russell (Tone Bell) are best friends who just happen to live right next door to each other, giving their wives Tracy (Vanessa Lachey) and Angie (Bresha Webb) plenty of time to bond. So what happens when this foursome gets together for dinner or a rare night out? TRUTH BE TOLD, anything goes.
Is it any good?
TRUTH BE TOLD isn't funny, but that's only a part of the problem. Its worst sin is that it's so desperately dated, thanks to stereotype-driven jokes about race that feel at least 20 years old. From wondering aloud whether an orthodox Jewish family's name is Goldstein or Goldman or Goldfein to assuming that the Asian employee at a Chinese restaurant is using a fake accent to add authenticity to the food, the show tries to make light of racism but only succeeds at heavy-handed comedy.
What's odd is that the show claims to be based on the real-life experiences of its creator DJ Nash, which implies it's at least loosely rooted in reality. But the things these characters say feel so fictional and far removed from the way we talk about race in 2015 that it's hard to believe there's much truth to it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Truth Be Told handles the hot-button topic of racism. Are there "right" and "wrong" ways to make light of such a serious subject given today's rocky racial climate? Where's the line between funny and offensive, and who gets to decide?
What would Truth Be Told look like as a single-camera show that wasn't shot as a traditional sitcom (think Modern Family)? How does it compare to other comedies that regularly tackle the topic of race, such as Fresh Off the Boat and Blackish?
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