Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas TV Poster Image
Host's relaxed vibe is a welcome alternative in late night.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Discussion of news is generally balanced and thoughtful. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cenac knows his stuff and is excellent at sharing info and opinions equally. 


Police brutality is discussed in detail.


Some innuendo about masturbation.


"F--ked," "s--t," "bulls--t." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas is a weekly late-night current events-focused show hosted by a former correspondent and writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There's some rough language, and the tone is more contemplative and mature than most late-night shows. Fans of Cenac's stand-up will definitely want to check this out. Older teens expecting the more standard comedic tempo of John Oliver or Stephen Colbert may need a little time to recalibrate their senses in order to fully appreciate Cenac's unique vibe.

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What's the story?

Wyatt Cenac, correspondent and part of the Emmy-winning writing staff of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brings his low-key charm to headline his own weekly look at topical issues in WYATT CENAC'S PROBLEM AREAS. Less punchline-driven than most other political comedy or late-night shows, Cenac's show uses his relaxed, natural vibe to highlight serious topics, such as policing in America, in a way that's pointed but not in-your-face. Since there's no studio audience, sidekick, or band to play off of, Cenac directly addresses the viewer, ruminating on bizarre trends, like why so many billionaires are obsessed with space travel. Cenac also ventures out of the studio and acts as reporter, interviewing cops, community activists, and politicians about specific issues.

Is it any good?

Smart, funny, and delivered in an understated tone unlike any other topical issue comedy show, this late-night series vibrates on its own unique frequency. It's like the content of 60 Minutes presented in the subtle, offbeat tone of Atlanta -- segments unfold and are given space to breathe in ways we don't usually see. Departing from the typical format where a guy sits at a desk and takes potshots at the absurdities of today's political landscape, Cenac takes a more journalistic approach and ventures out to do field reporting, interviewing individuals close to the topic of discussion. Overall, it's Cenac's easy delivery and complete lack of bombast that make Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas one to watch. With his effortless ability to pose questions in ways that really make you think, Cenac feels like the coolest teacher you ever had in school. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how they get their news. What sources do you trust? How can you tell if a news source is credible?

  • Wyatt Cenac calls attention to the way Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas is different from other shows focused on current events (no studio audience, etc.). How does the absence of these expected elements impact the tone of the show or your enjoyment of it? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: April 13, 2018
  • Cast: Wyatt Cenac
  • Network: HBO
  • Genre: Comedy
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: March 13, 2020

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