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Dad Stop Embarrassing Me * Great Show To Just Kick Back, Enjoy And Embrace The Madness

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Brian Dixon, successful business owner and bachelor, just became a full-time father to his teenage daughter Sasha. Determined to be the best father he can be, Brian’s going to need all the help he can get from his dad and sister  — and Sasha’s going to need all the help she can get learning how to deal with her new, lovingly chaotic. Full of heart and humor, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is inspired by Foxx’s real-life relationship with daughter Corinne Foxx, who also serves as executive producer.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is a fun, humorous show for teens, with great sets and talented casting, as well as some endearing imperfections. It’s a great show to just kick back and watch, keeping your brain to the side and embracing the madness of the plot.” Carlee S. adds, “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! is a humorous TV series for older teens and adults that will make you think about and laugh at all those embarrassing family moments and family members in your life. It combines comedy with different issues facing people today. Each character has its own unique personality that creates a family that many people will relate to.” See their full reviews below.  

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME (L to R) KYLA-DREW as SASHA and JAMIE FOXX as BRIAN in episode 101 of DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2021

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is a fun, humorous show for teens, with great sets and talented casting, as well as some endearing imperfections. It’s a great show to just kick back and watch, keeping your brain to the side and embracing the madness of the plot.

Speaking of the plot, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is all about teen Sasha Dixon (Kyla-Drew), who moves back to Atlanta after her mother’s passing to spend time with her father, Brian Dixon (Jamie Foxx), who is the heir of the cosmetics empire Bay Beauty. She has to adapt to her father’s unique personality and lifestyle, and the show follows the father-daughter-duo as they navigate the complex landscape of their relationship.

The show is supplemented by Pops (David Alan Grier), Sasha’s happy-go-lucky grandfather, and Manny (Valente Rodriguez), the hilarious handyman. Zia Williams (Miracle Reigns), Sasha’s enthusiastic yet comedically bumbling friend; Stacy (Heather Hemmens), Brian’s significant other; Johnny (Jonathan Kite), a misfit cop, and Chelsea (Porscha Coleman), Sasha’s lively aunt, also play important roles in moving the plot forward.

DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME (L to R) MIRACLE REIGNS as ZIA, JAMIE FOXX as BRIAN, KYLA-DREW as SASHA, and ELIJAH M. COOPER as BRODIE in episode 102 of DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2021

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me has a multi-camera setup, which aids in providing a great cinematographic experience, with various angles and types of shots. However, there are times where I wish the viewers could see more of the great city of Atlanta, given how much it’s hyped up in the first two episodes. The script also takes advantage of the multi-camera setup by allowing characters to break the fourth wall every so often, and speak to the audience directly. This was funny the first few times it happened, but one soon realizes it’s used as a comedic device in somewhat not funny scenes.

Moving to the cast, I love Jamie Foxx’s performance as Brian and Kyla-Drew as Sasha, but the supporting characters really shine. Pops, Chelsea and Stacy especially are strong characters. Grier, Hemmens and Coleman truly show their talent. The most important aspect is that the cast’s dynamic is truly like that of a family, and this translates beautifully on screen. Though the show has some hiccups, what is a comedy show if not just that – imperfect? That’s what makes it funny, right?

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me promotes positive messages of sticking up for each other, responsibility, resourcefulness, making the most of what you have and being committed. Parents should know there is some mild profanity and some references to drugs and sex. It’s rated TV-14, so it’s best if you’re an older teen watching this show.

I give Dad Stop Embarrassing Me 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It premieres April 14, 2021 on Netflix.

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!
By Carlee Spagnolo, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME (L to R) JAMIE FOXX as BRIAN and PORSCHA COLEMAN as CHELSEA in episode 102 of DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2021

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! is a humorous TV series for older teens and adults that will make you think about and laugh at all those embarrassing family moments and family members in your life. It combines comedy with different issues facing people today. Each character has its own unique personality that creates a family that many people will relate to.  The humor and drama in each episode kept me entertained.

This series is about a girl named Sasha (Kyla-Drew) who comes to live with her dad (Jamie Foxx) who is very overprotective and uptight about his daughter, while she is extremely outgoing and independent. They are always disagreeing with each other and arguing but they still love each other at the end of the day. Her aunt (Porscha Coleman), grandfather (David Alan Grier) and family friends are also a big part of their lives and the show.  Each episode tackles a new problem typical of teens and parents today and we see those problems addressed as they work through them as a family.

DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME (L to R) DAVID ALAN GRIER as POPS in episode 101 of DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2021

My favorite scene is when they are all having a cookout where Pops and his siblings compete to see who can prepare the best meal and they keep sabotaging each other’s foods. They keep trying to outdo each other to win the competition.  Both the lines and the actions are hilarious. This scene had me laughing out loud and anticipating what was going to happen next.

I also like how the actors break the fourth wall sometimes by speaking their thoughts out loud into the camera, so we get to see how they feel in that scene. The way the characters dress fits perfectly with their personalities. The dad is a businessman; Sasha is a typical teen; and Pops is a laid-back grandpa. The theme song at the beginning is very catchy and upbeat. The lyrics represent what many teens think. They like their parents, but don’t want to be embarrassed. I also like that the show is a modern multi-generational family that is learning to accept each other’s differences as the episodes continue.

DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME (L to R) JONATHAN KITE as JOHNNY and JAMIE FOXX as BRIAN in episode 101 of DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2021

This show shows us the importance of family and how they’re always going to be there for us. Families may not be perfect, but they want what is best for you, even if it may not seem that way in the moment.   It also highlights the importance of forgiveness, especially if there are good intentions. You should be aware that there is mild profanity used frequently and there are also some mature topics such as talking about sex and weed.

I give Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! 5 out of 5 stars. It has humor and gripping storylines with current topics that will keep your undivided attention in each episode. I recommend this for ages 14 to 18, plus adults.  Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! releases on Netflix April 14, 2021.

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Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American * Niche Comedy Perfect for Family Viewing

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Tennessee-born comedian, actor, and podcast host Nate Bargatze is back with his second hour-long Netflix original comedy special, Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. Nate reflects on being part of the Oregon Trail generation, meeting his wife while working at Applebee’s and the hilariously relatable moments of being a father and husband. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American stars the great Nate Bargatze, one of the few comedians with G-rated humor these days. His jokes tend to play on situations he’s been in, which tend to fit an older audience, and some of the setups for his jokes are a bit clunky, but overall, Bargatze’s comic timing and delivery help smooth things over.” See his full review below.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average America
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Fans of comedian Nate Bargatze and non-fans alike will have tons of fun watching Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. As the name suggests, it’s a bit of a niche comedy special, meant for older teens and adults of Bargatze’s generation, mostly from the US. But it is truly a rip-roaring, enjoyable Netflix special for all.

This one-hour comedy special centers around the crazy year we’ve come out of, Zoom comedy shows, losing your phone, hotel breakfast fails, llama golf caddies, new Common Core math that just doesn’t make sense to Bargatze, and much more! It’s a taped show that was filmed outdoors at Universal Studios in October 2020, with a live audience, and some helicopters making a cameo appearance.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American stars the great Nate Bargatze, one of the few comedians with G-rated humor these days. His jokes tend to play on situations he’s been in, which tend to fit an older audience, and some of the setups for his jokes are a bit clunky, but overall, Bargatze’s comic timing and delivery help smooth things over. I liked his on-the-spot jokes the best, especially when helicopter flyovers interrupt his prepared spiel and he has to riff off of the situation to keep the show’s momentum going.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American promotes messages of friendship, community, and laughing at yourself, three things Bargatze’s special is chock-full of. It’s a great family watch, as one of the few family-friendly comedy specials out there.

I give Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American releases on Netflix on March 18, 2021.

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A Week Away * Feel-Good Teem Rom Com Musical of the Year!

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Nowhere left to go, Will Hawkins finds himself at camp for the first time. His instinct is to run, but he finds a friend, a father figure and even a girl who awakens his heart. Most of all, he finally finds a home. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “A Week Away is a total breath of fresh air! This film is set to be the feel-good teen rom com of the year with hilarious one-liners and catchy tunes. This is definitely a new Netflix knockout.” Katherine S. adds, “On the musical front, this movie has an impressive soundtrack. Kudos to the songwriter, Adam Watts, for the original songs in this movie. The choreography is splendid as everyone has a dance during the singing, and it is perfectly in sync with everything else. The setting for this movie is beautiful! The cabins have so much attention to detail; the forest is very realistic; and the lake is gorgeous. Now I want to go to Camp Aweegaway!” See their full reviews below.

A Week Away
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

A Week Away is a total breath of fresh air! This film is set to be the feel-good teen rom com of the year with hilarious one-liners and catchy tunes. This is definitely a new Netflix knockout.

A Week Away follows juvenile delinquent Will (Kevin Quinn) as he goes to camp Aweegaway as a way to escape juvie. At the camp, he meets Avery (Bailee Madison). Soon, Avery tears down Will’s walls and shows him the ropes. The two of them, along with the rest of the campers, breakout in song and dance. The large dance numbers and intimate ballads balance out the storyline perfectly.

The cinematography is absolutely breath-taking. The shots of the early morning at the camp and the gorgeous dancing between Avery and Will at the dock are stunning. The sun shines down on the two as they dance together. The choreography is spectacular. The upbeat dance numbers with large groups make you want to dance with them. The songs are also incredible. After watching this movie, you’ll definitely want to add the whole soundtrack to your playlist. Along with this film’s spectacular visuals, the performances stand out. The intimate scenes between Avery and Will leave you rooting for these young teens from the lovely garden scene where Avery confesses how she’s exhausted of trying to be perfect, to Will’s vulnerable moment as he comes to terms with being loved and accepted.

The moral of the film is that your past doesn’t define your future. Once the truth about Will’s checkered past comes to light, he runs away, believing that Avery would reject him. She, on the contrary, accepts him with open arms. Over the week that the film takes place, Will’s character develops dramatically, as he learns to love himself and learns how God and faith guides souls.

I give A Week Away 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It is available on Netflix March 26, 2021.

A Week Away
By Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

A WEEK AWAY

A Week Away is a teen rom-com musical. It has attractive, lakeside outdoor settings, amazing choreography and solid faith-based messages.

This movie follows a teenage boy named Will (Kevin Quinn) who is a bit of a troublemaker.  He takes his actions a bit too far by stealing a police car, and when caught has the choice of going to a juvenile detention center or going to a faith-based camp with one of his foster families. He chooses camp Aweegaway, a place where some of the teens are only a week away from a life-changing experience. While at camp, Will meets Avery (Bailee Madison), who may very well be the catalyst for that change.

At several points during the storyline, A Week Away can be a bit cheesy and predictable, but this is a rom-com musical so it can only go in so many directions – and it’s still fun! On the musical front, this movie has an impressive soundtrack. Kudos to the songwriter, Adam Watts, for the original songs in this movie. The choreography is splendid as everyone has a dance during the singing, and it is perfectly in sync with everything else. The setting for this movie is beautiful! The cabins have so much attention to detail; the forest is very realistic; and the lake is gorgeous. Now I want to go to Camp Aweegaway! Kevin Quinn, who plays Will, possibly drew inspiration for this role from his character in Bunk’d, also about a camp. Bailee Madison is so believable as sweet and faithful Avery, who becomes Will’s love interest. My favorite character is Avery’s dad (Dave Koechner) because he is kind, silly and pretty inspiring. He is such a good dad role model.  

The two primary messages for this movie are that nobody’s perfect and always keep your faith. There are a couple of examples of bad behavior in the movie, like someone stealing a car and running away from home.

I give A Week Away 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. It comes out on Netflix March 26, 2021.

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The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers * Comedy, Creative Storyline, Great Messages and Lots of Hockey

Friday, March 26th, 2021

After failing to make the cut to join the now powerhouse Mighty Ducks junior hockey team, 12-year-old Evan’s mother encourages him to form a new team of underdogs with help from Gordon Bombay, the Ducks’ original coach. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is super enjoyable to watch! This beloved movie franchise now has a new series that all Mighty Ducks fans can enjoy. It has comedy, a creative storyline, great messages and of course plenty of Mighty Ducks hockey action.” See her full review below.  

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers
By Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is super enjoyable to watch! This beloved movie franchise now has a new series that all Mighty Ducks fans can enjoy. It has comedy, a creative storyline, great messages and of course plenty of Mighty Ducks hockey action.  

The next installment of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers follows a boy named Evan (Brady Noon) who loves hockey and plays for the Mighty Ducks. However, the Mighty Ducks are not what they used to be, as the team has become a bunch of kids who want to win at all costs. Since the team moved to the 12 to 14-year-old bracket, only the best will stay on the team and, unfortunately, Evan is not one of them. After being devastated from being cut, Evan’s mom (Lauren Graham) decides that they should make their own team, but the deadline is in a few days. Can they find a rink, a coach, players and equipment to play in the league? It’s a lot of fun to watch their journey.

Since this new series is based on the previously released Mighty Ducks movies, you might want to watch some of those movies just to know some of the references and backstories of various characters. The characters include a diverse set of kids, parents and coaches that are very relatable and entertaining. Emilio Estevez reprises his role as a “cranky” Gordon Bombay being coaxed into coaching. Sound a bit familiar? My favorite character is Nick (Maxwell Simkins), because he is sweet, has a love of hockey, is not very good and has the best one-liners.

The message of this show is to remember that, just because you are not the best, does not mean you should not bother to try.  And it would not be a Mighty Ducks movie without demonstrating the importance of teamwork. There is a tiny bit of mild profanity.  

I give The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Adults, hockey fans and Mighty Ducks movie fans will enjoy it, too. The first episode of this show comes out on Disney+ March 26, 2021.

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Non-Stop Action, Belly Laugh Funny, Emotional Ride Of A Lifetime

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is an upcoming American web television miniseries, based on the Marvel Comics superheroes of the same names. The series is a sequel to Avengers: Endgame. It is the second installment and the second television series of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Picking up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the show centers on Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) taking over the Captain America shield, and Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier) grappling with 21st century life without his star-spangled pal Steve Rogers. On top of that, the pair team up on a globe-trotting mission to take down an anarchist group called the Flag-Smashers.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jude A. comments, “Are you ready to fly into nonstop action? Are you ready to watch a show that will belly laugh and also immerse you in an emotional ride of a lifetime? Well if so, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the show for you! Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return in iconic roles, delivering mind-blowing action choreography and creative new ways to show action like Marvel hasn’t achieved before.” Heather S. adds, “The moral of the series is that there’s always a way to help heal all kinds of wounds. Sam desperately tries to help his sister with finances and tries to gain back the time he lost. Bucky, on the other hand, goes to therapy to help deal with his trauma and pain, trying to erase all traces of the Winter Soldier.” See their full reviews below.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the action-packed series everyone needs! With explosions, story-telling and two Avengers, we explore the backstories and lives of our favorite superheroes. This show is definitely a Marvel world-class adventure.

(L-R): Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame. We catch up with the two heroes and see how much has changed in the last five years. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is still fighting crime as the Falcon, as he hangs up the Captain America shield. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes tries to move on from the wars, as his past as the Winter Soldier haunts him. Soon, the two Avengers must team up against their latest villain, Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl). 

Marvel yet again delivers with the cinematic spectacular they’re known for. The series starts off doing what Sam knows best – fighting and flying. With explosions and swift movements, Sam saves a prisoner. This series really gives insight to characters that never took center stage. It showcases why their skills and mindsets make them valuable assets and Earth’s mightiest heroes. It’s so exciting to see them on their own. It’s beautiful to see the two heroes be actual humans and people, not just aliases. We also see how comfortable the actors are in their respective roles. Sebastian really dives in deep into how Bucky has changed and faces these emotions head on. Anthony also merges with Sam. It’s so hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. They’re both hilarious and their performances offer comedic relief. I can’t wait to see both Sam and Bucky reunite. These two characters have been teased to be a comedic duo in previous Avengers films.

The moral of the series is that there’s always a way to help heal all kinds of wounds. Sam desperately tries to help his sister with finances and tries to gain back the time he lost. Bucky, on the other hand, goes to therapy to help deal with his trauma and pain, trying to erase all traces of the Winter Soldier.

I give The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It starts streaming on Disney+ March 19, 2021.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
By Jude A., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 15

Are you ready to fly into nonstop action? Are you ready to watch a show that will belly laugh and also immerse you in an emotional ride of a lifetime? Well if so, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the show for you! Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return in iconic roles, delivering mind-blowing action choreography and creative new ways to show action like Marvel hasn’t achieved before. This will definitely bring a smile to long time Marvel fans, and it will also be extremely enjoyable for first time Marvel viewers.

Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, establishing the current status of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Sam (aka the Falcon) is still completing missions fighting crime left and right. Bucky (aka the Winter Soldier), on the other hand, is lying very low. He is dealing with mental health issues, trying to make peace with himself and the world. When the terrifying villain Zemo makes his reappearance from the events of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky and Sam must team up and defeat this foe.

In Captain America: Civil War, we get a taste of the Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan duo. Everyone loved it. Now to satisfy our lust for more, we have The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Their chemistry is outstanding. You laugh consistently throughout the show, making you want more and more. The visual effects and writing departments each deserve a lot of credit for the extremely creative route the show takes, demonstrating to the world what beautiful effects Marvel can produce.

Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is intense at times. A good portion of the show is pure action that some parents might not be comfortable with their younger children seeing. Some episodes contain mild cursing. The show does offer many morals and lessons. It explores themes such as teamwork, love and friendship. It also teaches the lesson that, even though you might have lost someone you love, they would have wanted you to move on and continue to live the life you want.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier soars higher than the Falcon does in the show, delivering plenty of great laughs and action-packed scenes. The show does contain intense action and cursing. Therefore, I give The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Every Friday a new episode releases on Disney+ starting March 19, 2021, so make sure to check it out!

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