Under One Roof TV Poster Image

Under One Roof

(i)

 

Flavor Flav sitcom awash in negative stereotypes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series relies on extreme (and often offensive) cultural stereotypes for its humor, targeting African Americans, other racial/ethnic groups, women, and homosexuals. On the (slim) plus side, Winston is supportive of his brother, despite his antics. The cast is primarily African-American, with the exception of Ashley, who is Caucasian.

Violence

Lots of discussions about prison, criminals, and murder. Weapons, including a cross bow and knives, are shown with the intent of being used to kill (albeit in a way that's played for laughs). One scene includes pouring glass into someone's cereal in order to kill him.

Sex

Some strong sexual innuendoes, including references to homosexual activity. Women are often seen wearing skimpy clothing; Heather consistently wears revealing outfits. Frequent discussions about African-American men fathering multiple children with various women. References to pimps and hookers.

Language

Language includes words like "hell," "dumb ass," and "bitch."

Consumerism

Some obvious visual references to Flavor Flav, but no visible logos/products.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking is sometimes visible. In at least one episode, a character is clearly drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sitcom -- which stars controversial rap/reality show star Flavor Flav -- relies on negative racial and ethnic stereotypes (particularly those relating to African Americans) for its humor. There's some strong language ("hell," "bitch," "dumb ass") and sexual innuendo, including references to homosexual activity and frequent discussions of fathering multiple children with various women. Some of the female characters wear tight, skimpy outfits. There are lots of references to criminal activity, including murder; weapons (knives, crossbow) are sometimes shown within this context. Also expect some alcohol consumption; on at least on one occasion, a character is shown drinking and acting drunk.

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What's the story?

In UNDER ONE ROOF, reality TV star/former Public Enemy Flavor Flav stars as Calvester Hill, an ex-con who moves in with his wealthy, overachieving brother Winston (Kelly Perine) after his latest stint in the slammer. While getting used to life outside the big house, he gets to know Winston's wife, Ashley (Carrie Genzel); their rather ditzy and sex-crazed daughter, Heather (Marie Michel); and geeky son, Winston Jr. (Jesse Reid). Not surprisingly, Calvester's street-smarts and Winston's rather uptight demeanor lead to some wacky situations along the way.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The series, which is an update/remake of a mild 1990s sitcom about a multigenerational African-American family, parallels the premise of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air by centering around the tension that occurs when a less-privileged but streetwise person starts living with his upper-class extended family. But unlike the original Roof series or Fresh Prince, this show relies heavily on negative cultural representations to get laughs. The show's characters personify many of the disparaging labels placed on African-Americans today, from morality-lacking pimps to promiscuous single mothers. It also targets other racial and ethnic groups, as well as women and homosexuals. As a result, the show isn't just silly and insulting but also creates harmful social images.

Granted, the relationship between Calvester and Winston is a positive one, and the family continues to support their troubled relative despite being unimpressed by his antics. But any positive messages stemming from this relationship are offset by the show's offensive humor. Plus, there's some strong language ("bitch" and "dumb ass"), sexual innuendo, and lots of conversations about criminal acts that range from stealing to murder. The series isn't intended for young viewers and is an iffy choice for teens who aren't mature enough to understand this kind of comedy. And even for those who like this brand of wit, the bottom line is that it's just not very funny.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about racial and ethnic stereotyping in the media. Is stereotyping ever appropriate? Is there such thing as a positive stereotype? Does the media create stereotypes or does it simply reflect stereotypes that currently exist in society? When the media portrays stereotypes, what is the consequence on audiences?

TV details

Premiere date:March 14, 1995
Cast:Carrie Genzel, Flavor Flav, Kelly Perine
Network:MyNetworkTV
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14

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Adult Written byjenarlene April 9, 2008

I had to change the channel!!!! It was boring with no sense at all!!!!!

They have been promoting this show for a long time. Get to see it after the game!!!! Well we did, just that me my boyfriend and a closed guy friend. We could not believe how stupid it was. Why did Flava do this, to himself??? We did not laugh.... it was boring. Our friend left and we changed the channel.... I believe news instead. What has TV come too these days.
Adult Written byrrrrrrr April 9, 2008

Wost thing on TV

This is the worst show I've ever seen. If Jerry Springer did a sitcom featuring drugs and "ho's", this would be it.
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

take it off now!

why in the world would you put this on here!