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 Work In Progress is an adult-oriented comedy series that features lots of mature content. It contains strong sexual innuendo, crude sexual references, and partial nudity. Drinking, smoking, and cursing are also frequent. It also touches on mature themes including body image issues, homophobia, depression, loneliness, suicide, and death, most of which are dealt with honestly and with humor.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Co-created by comedian Abby McEnany, WORK IN PROGRESS is a comedy series about a 45-year-old woman who continues to search for her place in this world. Abby (played by McEnany), who describes herself as a fat, queer dyke, has decided that if she can’t find meaning to her life in 180 days she will end it. But her outlook on life begins to change when she meets Chris (Theo Germaine), a 22-year-old transgendered individual with whom she agrees to go out on a date after her difficult sister Alison (Karin Anglin) connects them. Not everyone understands the relationship, including her long-time friend Campbell (Celeste Pechous), but Abby finds herself enjoying his company. Navigating these life changes while managing her insecurities isn’t easy, but she manages to stay true to herself no matter how weird things get.
Is it any good?
This well-written and well-performed series offers an entertaining and funny storyline that is both sweet and irreverent. Abby McEnany’s performance successfully interprets her character’s insecurities with kindness while still showcasing her trademark humor. Flashbacks to pivotal moments in (fictional) Abby’s life, and her blunt conversations with other cast members -- including folks like Julia Sweeney and Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic (who play themselves) -- about her vulnerabilities, create some awkward, but humorous scenarios. But these conversations also offer some deliberate insights into what life can be like as a member of the LGBTQ community, as well as the challenges we all face when trying to figure out our purpose on earth. Overall, Work In Progress successfully delivers fresh, derisive comedy with enough sensitivity to make it heartfelt and endearing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ways comedy can be used to address serious issues. Do you think there are topics that should never be broached using humor? Why not?
Work In Progress addresses some reasons why people feel insecure about who they are, including body image issues and an inability to conform with gender and sexuality expectations. What does it suggest about the role the media plays in heightening these insecurities?
If you are having thoughts of suicide, or know someone who is, who should you turn to to get help? Parents: What are some of the resources available for adults and kids who are struggling with mental health issues?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love dark comedies
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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