TV Review – Help! My Kid Is A Gamer – Season 1

TL;DR – This is a really good resource for parents wanting to know more about video games to help understand and engage with their kids on the issue

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Help! My Kid Is A Gamer. Image Credit: ABC TV.


Video games, they are the latest hotness in the world, but like a lot of new technologies, there is a lot about them that can be difficult for people to understand if they are not familiar. This is amplified when it is parents trying to understand the world that their kids are living in. Today we look at a series that is trying to de-mystify some of the real issues around gaming and to give parents the tools needed to understand and help kids develop.

Each episode of the show revolves around one aspect of the video games industry and how it applies to children and then talks to the experts to help parents understand the issue. For example loot boxes and microtransactions. This is all presented in a form that is easy to digest which is important when dealing with very complex issues where there are quite often no straight forward answers. I feel that this show is really important because it does not shy away from the problematic aspects of video games but it also does not lean into the sensationalist reporting that you get from most of the Australian media that does not know how to write stories unless it is about “insert game is the new addiction” like we saw just last week with untitled goose game. There are real problems and concerns with video games, but these are no different for any other types of media and as a parent it is important to be across these issues.

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My Top 30 TV Shows (20-16)

20) Good Game – In today’s age there are very few shows that have the ability get me to watch each week, but Good Game is one of them. It is a simple premise, review the new game releases and give it a score, but it is more than that. Part of it is that it is clear that everyone who works on the show has a clear passion for what they do and you can tell, part of it is the repour between the hosts, and part of it is that joy you get to see some really good Australian TV, a rarity these days. While the tone of the shoe can be very light, they are also not afraid to deal with more serious issues, the standout for me being the recent special on war and games. It has also been good to see it expand into the digital space, which has given the show a little bit more flexibility than it has had before.  It is an enjoyable part of my week, and as saved me from wasting my money on several occasions, so thanks for that

19) Chuck – Another of the little shows that could, to the point that there was a campaign to keep it going for three straight years, and it was worth it because Chuck is a little gem of a show. Chuck played by the excellent Zachary Levi, was a member of the nerd heard until he got The Intersect, a government super computer downloaded into his brain. This sounds like a really cheesy concept, and it is, but through some excellent casting and real care, it moves away from being cheesy to being endearing. Chuck is desperate to keep his spy life and his work life separate, but of course they keep colliding, and one by one his friends and family become a part of his spy gang. The show was great because it was a nerdy show that actually understood the references it was talking about, it had a great supporting cast, and a compelling narrative. In the end I have to thank Subway because people convinced them to sponsor the show, and there is no way it would have survived so long without it. This is a fun little romp and also one of those shows that gets mentioned every time someone Kickstarts something or Netflix brings a show back from the dead, so who knows one day we may get to see more of it, I surely hope so.

18) Doctor Who – Look at this point I don’t think I need to explain what Doctor Who is, – Time Lord, Companion, Flying Police Box, Time Travel, Fez, Running, Wibbily Wobbly Timey Wimey, Exterminate – , I think more so at this point I may have to explain why it is only 18th on my list. The reason it is so far down my list is not because I have not loved it, in fact if I didn’t it wouldn’t be here if I didn’t, it is so far down the list because I think I have stopped watching it. I will always have fond memories of Doctor Who, that time they were running, and that other time they were running, oh and that time that they were running. Ok seriously, The moment the 10th lost Rose into another dimension, and when 11 lost Rory and Amy, every time 10 said “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”,  The sound of the drums, “I’m still not a Ginger”, Bad Wolf, “Don’t Blink”, Devils run when a good man goes to war, and “I don’t want to go”. Doctor Who will always have a special place in my heart, and indeed I may even come back to it someday, but for the moment I think it is time to see new people, it’s not you it’s me … well maybe if I am being perfectly honest it might be you.

17) Sherlock – Sherlock is here not just because it is one of the best adaptations of a literary work I have ever seen, but also because it is one of the best example of updating an old literary text to the modern era I have seen since 10 things I Hate About You. This is a show that takes the time to get the little details right, to the point that it is littered with little references to the original novels. As well as this, it has the ability to make you go wow when you find out the answer and realise the clues were there from the start if you were paying attention. Of course the core of this show is the character and Sherlock got its casting right, from the titular character itself, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, to Martin Freeman’s John Watson, Andrew Watson’s Moriarty and Amanda Abbington’s Mary Morstan. It is a lot of fun, but also has a very serious tone, and there is a constant undercurrent that Sherlock is on the tipping point of going over the edge. It also has a really interesting design, it was the show that finally got how to display a text message without having to cut to a mobile phone screen for a painfully long time. I am really interested to see where it will go next and if it will continue to keep its high standard but for now I can’t wait.

16) Fringe – Here we are again, a little show that could (I said this would be a running theme), the show that blended crazy science experiments, law and order, alternative universes, an episodic procedural, a wide serial story, and of course whatever the hell John Nobel was doing.  Fringe told the story of Agent Olivia Dunham played by Anna Torv who starts a FBI task force to investigate scientific experiments that are leaping faster than the government can regulate bringing along the mentally unstable Dr Walter Bishop played by John Nobel and his son Peter played by Joshua Jackson, that they are kind of blackmailing to be there. It starts off with a very simple monster-of-the-week style procedural but then you start to notice things, wait is that the same bald guy in the suit in every episode, wait Peter’s and Walter’s stories are not lining up there, who is this Walter Bell?, and then it culminated in one of the best shock reveals that has ever happened in TV. From this point onwards it morphs from this episodic format to a really interesting serial, expanding across time and space. This is also another show that took care with the small details, the titles would change depending of what time the episode was set, whenever they visited a new location the name would be emblazoned in these big block letters that would also reflect the environment, the hidden cameos and the glyphs before an add break. Fringe was another of those shows that you never knew if this season would be the last, and it was great that they were able to tie the series up even if it was a truncated final series.