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Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns
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 Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns includes some racial humor exchanged mostly among characters of color -- but it's meant to be lighthearted, not hurtful or offensive. Most of the show's comedy is driven by its quirky characters, so tweens may not grasp the cultural background necessary to appreciate the humor. Between that and the fairly frequent references to sexuality (not much is shown, though), the show is obviously meant more for adults -- but there's not too much here that's inappropriate for older tweens.
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What's the story?
In MEET THE BROWNS, David Mann revives one of Tyler Perry's most popular characters -- flamboyant church deacon Leroy Brown -- who's living out his dream as proprietor of an up-and-coming retirement facility in the dilapidated home he inherited from his father. The motley crew of Brown Meadows residents keeps Mr. Brown hopping, but he's fortunate to have a handful of family members and handy fix-it guy Jesus (Antonio Jaramillo) to help him keep the place in running order. That's good news, because between the bustling fraternity house next door and the pristine rival retirement center down the street, there's no shortage of chaos interrupting the serenity of the Brown residence.
Is it any good?
This show does a very good job with character-based comedy, tossing together an array of personalities and feeding off their wacky interactions. Mann is surprisingly believable as the overzealous, God-fearing, high-pitched Mr. Brown, and the rest of the quirky characters are likewise lovably flawed. There's little meaningful substance to the sitcom, but fans won't mind that once they've gotten acquainted with the cast.
That said, Meet the Browns isn't a show for young kids, as conversations often include sexual references (one elderly character is a raging nymphomaniac who flirts with every man in the vicinity), and there's occasional strong language (mostly "hell"). There's also a fair amount of stereotyping and racial humor, though it's all lighthearted. Tweens probably won't be too into the character humor, but teens and adults will get some chuckles from the zany cast.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how race is typically dealt with in the media and in Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns. What do you think of the racially based humor in this series? Would you feel differently if the cast were predominantly white?
Do minority entertainers have more leeway in how they joke about race? Why or why not?
Do you think there's a racial bias in the news or print media? Can you think of examples?