It’s A Parent Continually Subverts Expectation: Webseries Review
Kenny navigates the trials and tribulations of stay-at-home parenting as a first time stay-at-home dad in It’s a Parent. This comedy sketch webseries is directed by Andrew Ramsay and Patrick Mulvey who are both a part of 5by12 Films.
From trying to fit in at a moms-and-babies only yoga class to having a sex talk with his grown up son, Kenny pushes through any judgement the outside world puts upon him to be the best father he can be. While the world around him sees him as a father doing a nice favor for his son, he reminds the world he is a full-time dad, who made a choice to stay at home. The creators throw in some nice occasional curveballs that take the plot in unexpected directions to keep the audience on their toes, but that is the recurring message of the series. Kenny is a stay-at-home because he wants to be one.
Through Kenny, actor Kenny Metroff subverts stereotypes of toxic masculinity. He is a sensitive father, almost on brink of crying at any moment. He so values his role as a parent, and takes it so seriously it’s endearing.
His mom-pal, Claudia played by Ayanna Bria Bakari serves as the voice of reason. Unlike Kenny, she is more informed and more level-headed. In her own way, she tries to mother Kenny through parenting. She encourages him to branch off and find a fellow dad in probably the most charming episode of the series, “Stay at Home Dade Meet-Dude. Plus, Bakari has excellent comedic timing.
The editing by Marika Englehardt and Kate Romond moves the comedy along swimmingly, and cuts on just the right facial expressions while adding breathers for the actors to riff.
The webseries’ production has a very relatable, lived-in feel which really works for the material. The production elements are also perfect for a sketch show. There are minimal setups and a small cast that you get to know quickly - a great recipe for short episodes. The production quality is strong. Even though everything feels minimal, everything also looks professionally executed, which is not always the case on a run-and-gun webseries. Similarly, the sound mixing and cues work well, especially for the Meet-Dude episode, the soundtrack really amplifies the comedy.
Instead of relying on trite jokes that shame stay-at-home dads, Ramsay and Mulvey focus on positive representation. This series celebrates fathers, and shows how they can be firm but kind, sensitive, and even woke. It’s a Parent is a breath of fresh air, doing away with the tired trope of stoic, bread-winning, domineering fathers. These characters deserve their own full television show.