TV Rating: TV-PG
Other Choices: Saturday Night Live, In Living Color, MADtv
Available On: Online
Common Sense Says: Laugh-out-loud improv series sometimes gets saucy.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trust Us with Your Life is an improv comedy series that makes light of guests' major life experiences, and the unscripted style invites unpredictable content of all sorts. Most of it is fine for general audiences, though young kids won't get the subtleties of the dialogue or parodies of personality types. And some of the stories have mature themes like drinking and sexuality, all of which is portrayed in a jovial tone without real-world consequences.
- Families can talk about Trust Us with Your Life's comedy style. Do you think anyone might be bothered by what's said and done on this stage? Is it ever OK to make fun of a person's appearance or actions?
- What do you think motivates the guests who participate in this show? Would you be willing to put yourself at the mercy of a format like this? What can guests gain from taking part in it?
- Families can recall their own memorable moments and imagine how they'd appear as comedy games. Why do some memories stand out in our recollections more than others? How do our experiences help shape us?
What's the story?
Improv meets the talk show platform in TRUST US WITH YOUR LIFE, a unique comedy format that puts celebrity guests' musings on their life experiences in the hands of able improv artists like Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood, and Jonathan Mangum. Host Fred Willard chats with the guests -- including the likes of Serena Williams, Florence Henderson, and Mark Cuban -- as they reminisce about memorable moments in their pasts before those recollections are brought to life through off-the-wall improv games and songs.
Is it any good?
You can't go wrong with a star-studded cast like this one, many of whom hail from the improv classic Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and the added draw of the celebrity guest "victims" makes it hard to look away during this rapid-fire comedy assault on their fond memories. Happily the participants never mind the liberties the cast members take with their stories and at their expense, and the outcome is as fun for them as it is for the audience, especially when they're pulled into the mix in classic games like "Voice Over."The show's comic effect is undeniable, but its appropriateness for all family members is another story. References to grown-up themes, physical body language with sexual undertones, and some borderline language like "skank" are iffy for kids, most of whom won't grasp the subtleties of the humor anyway. But for those who can, this hilarious series will certainly score laughs.
The Good Stuff
Messages: The show makes light of memorable incidents from the guests' pasts, poking fun at them and those around them. There's some stereotyping and mockery in the characterizations, but it's all in good fun, and the guests enjoy it.
Role Models: Some of the participants talk about defining moments in their lives and what motivates their success, and their stories can be inspiring.
What to watch out for
Violence Not an issue
Sex: Suggestive dialogue, including references to casual encounters and, in one case, making out with a cross-dresser. Physical gestures -- like a man thrusting his hips forward and backward -- also allude to intimacy, but the comic tone keeps the mood light.
Language: Infrequent use of words like "skank."
Consumerism: The guest stars get some publicity for their involvement in the show, as do their respective projects, including TV series and movies.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: The actors simulate drinking and smoking, and drunkenness is played for humor when it's relevant to the story.