TV Review: ‘Chrisley Knows Best’

Chrisley Knows Best

As intriguing in the details as it is uncomfortable to watch, “Chrisley Knows Best,” a self-consciously sitcom-like reality show, initially seems to be just another knockoff designed to cash in on the “Duck Dynasty” demo. Cut through the deep-fried window dressing, though, and this USA series is almost entirely devoted to its subtext, intended to elicit sniggering regarding that which goes unsaid about the show’s wealthy father of five, whom his son-in-law understatedly dubs “flamboyant.” Played as epic farce, the skein should have a disparate range of appeal, but let’s hope the Chrisleys don’t mind being laughed at, not with.

Although the title is overtly intended to evoke a certain classic sitcom, others ranging from “The Beverly Hillbillies” to “The Brady Bunch” seem just as apropos. The half-hour introduces Todd Chrisley, whose supposed entrepreneurial success has allowed him to shelter his brood in a 30,000-square-foot Atlanta mansion. Prone to firing off catchphrase-style utterances, Chrisley announces he plans to parlay all that wealth into pursuing his life-long devotion to fashion, citing a commitment to “helping the world look better.”

Chrisley’s unorthodox parenting style might strike some as odd: He enthusiastically talks to his daughter about her breast implants, disciplines his 17-year-old son by placing a boot-lock on his car , and swaps sexual innuendos with the father of his grandchild. His wife Julie, meanwhile, does little more than roll her eyes.

The family’s protestations to the contrary, there’s obviously a good deal of staging here, as well as musical cues (such as “The A-Team” theme when tenderfoot Todd visits the gun range) to create a sitcom atmosphere. “I want to go to Hooters. I want to see some hot girls,” the couple’s youngest son, a first-grader, stiffly announces en route to school.

All of that, however, is at best a distraction from the brightly dressed elephant in the room, which, per USA, is left unaddressed throughout the series. As such, there’s an underlying smirk to the proceedings, something the producers appear happy enough to exploit.

Whether or not the central family understood going in how the show would be presented, by now — unless they lack Internet access — they must be aware. And while the parents can fend for themselves, there’s something off-putting about seeing their children drawn into this money-making enterprise, which goes out of its way to note how fabulously well-organized Todd’s closet is.

Slated to be paired with “Modern Family” reruns after its one-hour premiere, “Chrisley Knows Best” figures to get people talking, and for USA, that’s half the battle. Yet if the purported goal was to present another wacky take on an American family, what comes through Loud and clear as an ulterior motive is an updated version of “An American Family.”

TV Review: 'Chrisley Knows Best'

(Series; USA, Tue. March 11, 10 p.m.)

Production

Produced by Maverick TV and All3Media America.

Crew

Executive producers, Adam Greener, Jim Sayer, Stephanie Bloch Chambers; supervising producer, Annie Kate Pons. 30 MIN.

Cast

With: Todd Chrisley

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 50

Leave a Reply

50 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Lisa Couch says:

    Love love Chrisley Knows Best except for the little snitch he calls his son. He absolutely ruins the show!!!

  2. joey phatone says:

    The Dad of this show is the BIGGEST douche bag I have ever seen on TV or in real life. If I had to live with him I would be spending a life sentence in prison because I’d KILL HIM….He is a FK’n idiot. His wife should drop a plugged in toaster into his bath or find another way to off his dumb ass… he is a serious waste of human life !!! I CHANGE THE CHANNEL EVERY TIME I SEE HIS SHOW COME ON. He is a total waste of space, human tissue and fresh air. Get off the air and stop twisting everyone’s mind…. and fall off the face of the earth while you’re at it..

  3. Beth Eggers says:

    this is one of the worst shows ever!!! so full of themselves and empty and shallow!!!

  4. kierna says:

    guy everyone on here is on my level but yet they have our emails ans havent giving a rebutl

  5. kierna says:

    they make me feel terrible because staying in a hotel with a cat, wow its so terrible for them, I use to love them and think they where on my level but now i know they are not real
    thanks

  6. Eric w says:

    This is the dumbest show I ever seen. The dad acts more like a homosexual than a real man. The children act like they are so spoiled it’s unbelievable. The entire family seems to need a good lesson in real working in life. Yep the dad is gay. He acts so much like a woman.

  7. K says:

    I don’t know; I like the guy. I’ve been to South Carolina and you’d just have to know that he’s not gay—he’s got that southern thing. The Carolinas have a little of their own culture going on. He’s a guy who’s trying to be the “man” of the house. Which is so much better than the losers of Indiana that I’ve had to deal with. In Indiana, it’s a different type of southern hospitality. Haven’t met one yet who wasn’t well, lazy. So to see this guy out there doing what many people would like to have done–kudos to him—while trying to maintain a family bond. He at least tries to put his money where his mouth is in being there and supporting these kids. From what I’ve experienced in Indiana, they’re all talk and no action. The women have had to take on more than half of the responsibilities of the household—in every case of every person my daughter has ever been friends with. It’s frustrating..to hear another story of a guy who isn’t pulling his weight at home or at the job. We need more Todd Chrisley’s out there. at least trying to do the right thing.

  8. Allie F. says:

    This is perhaps one of the most disgusting programs on televison. He is in the closet; bankrupt and the entire program is a fabrication and insult to one’s intelligence. And the networks wonder why people are not watching anymore….perhaps it is garbage like this!

  9. Dan says:

    No wonder so many people are switching to Hulu or Netflix,or just plain ole dvd’s.uuuggghh this show is the absolute worst rubbish ive ever had the displeasure to see on my tv screen!

  10. Ryan Ferry says:

    This show sucks literally I think chrisley needs too find the door knob inside the closet and step out, show makes me litterally want to throw my tv out the window just so I dont have to hear his voice when ever a commercial plays. I did watch one episode and couldnt deal with it so I had to shut it off and step outside cause it ruined my sunday. Anyone wondering about this show, dont, ur not missing anything.

  11. amber says:

    Please tell me this bullcrap isn’t gonna be on the aire for long….lol.

  12. Idiotspay says:

    I like the show because, at least on the show he does not raise his kids to be wimps like most of the new gen.

  13. Mike Beno says:

    I am so tired of networks putting on their so called “reality shows” True reality would show a poor family trying to survive without jobs and many mouths to feed. Instead we get trash like this with an over indulgent father buying a 70k car for his spoiled brat of a daughter. “Real” families don’t even make 70K a year with 2 people working 2 jobs each.

    No more “reality” shows please. No more Kardashians, Hiltons and Chrisleys. America has had enough of this tripe.

  14. Lyssa says:

    I think this show is hilarious. All reality tv is staged for public entertainment. I don’t care that’s just editing. I don’t care who you are this shite is funny.

  15. BSM says:

    I am shocked that this many people actually watched this tripe. How low is USA planning to go? Shows that were smart and funny got cancelled for this? Another trashy “reality” show I won’t be watching.

  16. Lam says:

    I LOVE this show! It is a riot! I don’t know or care if he is gay, he’s funny! I don’t know or care if he filed bankruptcy, he’s funny! LOVE IT!!!!

  17. Matthew Hawn says:

    I should add that Todd’s (perceived) sexual orientation has NO bearing on my dislike of the show. I don’t care if he has effeminate mannerisms – that isn’t what turns me off. What bothers me is the insanity of the concept and the existence of dozens of so-called reality shows watching what the so-called rich do.

  18. Matthew Hawn says:

    I LOATHE the show. The fact that the public would like a show like this simply confirms my belief that television is near its deathbed, and also that society is most assuredly devolving!

  19. lana says:

    I love, love, the show I know its not your everyday reality show. I’m a middle aged, straight
    female. I have a few gay friends that I love. I am drawn to Chrisley??? TV is to entertain
    this show does that.
    show it more and earlier. Please keep it on.

  20. Mary says:

    Get a grip people. Turn the channel if you don’t like it. I just watched my dvr’s of the first 4 shows and I thought they were a hoot! Hope it stays on.

  21. Laura says:

    Love, love, love this show! Todd cares about his family and shows it through his actions. Refreshingly funny and wonderful to see a family with some morals. Devotion to marriage shows through with Todd and Julie. Keep up the good work. I’ll be watching!

    • Mike Beno says:

      Mary you would have shown much more intelligence if you had just deleted thsi trash without ever watching tis inane program which appeals to trailer park trash.

  22. TheRealist says:

    I love Todd….very involved with his family and his businesses. What you see is what you get – no sugar coating anything is just what households need. Enough with the fake personalities – his is real (LOL). Who cares if viewers question is sexuality – clearly they don’t pay his bills & are only hating, which is typical because haters live for others pitfalls – LOL. Keep doing your thing Chrisley & Co. & laugh all the way to the bank – I’m a fan.

    • Matt says:

      You mean, keep laughing all the way back to court (where chrisley has been fighting his bankruptcy since late 2012).

      And yes, that means us solvent taxpayers ARE paying his bills.

  23. I am enjoying this new show. Weirdly, I do not watch reality T.V. Todd is a fantastically opinionated father who deeply loves his children. They are such a healthy family in the way they are all their own selves. Julie is an absolute doll. A true Southern lady in love with her flamboyant man. They seem to be complete opposites. A good thing indeed. One Todd Chrisley personality is enough for Atlanta.

    • ct says:

      This man is verbally abusive. He fits the perfect profile of an abusive person….insults, Hilter like behavior, etc. He puts a club and shoe on his son’s car???? Can’t he just take the keys away?? Over doing it that’s for sure!!!

  24. Chris says:

    Super entertaining. What more could I ask for? He gives the kind of classic fatherly advice anyone would wish they’d receive as a child. The ancillary content is just that, and I’m glad it got you to watch and talk, but underneath that is a modern take on 50s Americana, and I’m shocked to find myself enjoying every bit of it. It’s already earned its season pass on my dvr.

  25. julie says:

    He definitely sounds like a flamer!

  26. Allie F. says:

    The guyis a flaming Queen. Bankrupt and house on the market for about 50% of its value. The show is total, disgusting garbage. USA Network has just lost a fan and view.

  27. Mr. Krenwinkle says:

    That is like saying Bullwinkle doesn’t know he’s a moose.

  28. Catherine kidwell says:

    This is the most stupid show I have ever seen…I would rather see Flava Flav pick a wife ,than watch this scripted ridiculousness… Chrisley is so plastic and self – centered , that I am not surprised that he would flaunt his stupidity and poor parenting on tv…hope he had fun making a fool of himself..that’s the only memory people will have..one season wonder….

  29. SBushinski says:

    This man is Gay and doesn’t know it. How despicable is the micromanaging. I’d rather be on death row than under his home rule. At least on death row one would have more freedom. He is so self centered and self absorbed. The utmost appalling thing is apparently he filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and stated his clothing was only worth $600.00
    He has obviously lied. He now is supposedly selling their home. Success is not what it seems. I hope he made a good financial deal on the show. Probably won’t last more than one season.

  30. Christine says:

    USA what is wrong with you,Can’t you put on real TV shows. I put it for a few moments as I was channel surfing and I couldn’t believe the garbage you were trying sell. Please go back to real programming. Wouldn’t watch it if you paid me. Worse family in creation.

    • Chrys says:

      I agree, this crap belong on Trutv ( which also used to be good, now they are at the bottom of the barrel. ) not USA. I watched part of this show once. That was enough. He’s annoying as hell & the kids all sound like they have a stick up their nose. What a waste of air time.

  31. Laura Ryan says:

    this is another pathetic attempt to perfume a pig…..news flash…you CAN’T!!!! He can’t come out of his closet cus he’s lost in it!!! I know a lot of very rich people and they usually are from old money. They are surely insulted by this disgusting behavior of a ‘new money snot’ with absolutely NO CLASS!!! All the money in the world can’t by him what he lacks….and the way he treats his children….where is child services…or do they just react when poor kids are emotionally and verbally abused.

  32. Mr. Krenwinkle says:

    The sly review never uses the G-word but makes its point. If the public wants to debate about Todd being you-know-what, it might as well debate about Bullwinkle being a moose. It’s just another example of snarky business people making fun of the great American unwashed, the rubes who live in the fly-over in between New York and Hollywood.

  33. Gina says:

    This is junk TV! Because someone is rich doesn’t mean that I need to see their trash!!

  34. SD says:

    The Fulton County records say the house is more like 13,000 SF not 30,000 as Chrisley says. Take into account the bankruptcy filing, lawsuits, etc. and I think this is all a bunch of bull. Also, he says he lives in neighborhood with Chipper and Sharon Jones. Well, Chipper divorced the wife and moved to Texas and the house for sale. If this guy is for real, he is shameful NEW MONEY. The way he is spending money, he will not last; I have know of people worth $100 million who don’t live this way. I give it 5 episodes before it fades out.

  35. Marc says:

    This show is NOTHING but SCHLOCK… “something cheap, shoddy or inferior”.
    Modern Family is comedy and I, immediately, change the channel when this piece of garbage comes on.

  36. Paula Carpenter says:

    I absolutely LOVED IT !!! I laughed until I hurt. Glad to see a Dad do something other than just hand out money and think that fixes everything. Great Show

  37. I loved it. They give to they’re children what their wealth allows but with very tight strings attached. It’s how I raised my three and everyone thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care. I wanted them to grow up learning and experiencing the finer things in life without the boundless opportunities to get into life altering troublr

  38. T says:

    People do know this is scripted right??

  39. Mike B says:

    This show will not be on very long. Nobody wants to watch another program about rich priviledged people who do absolutely nothing. No family needs to live in a 30,000 SF home with a garage larger than most homes real people live in.

    This is just an ad for his new clothing store which will not succeed.

    USA please take this trashy family off and put Modern Family back on.

  40. ct says:

    This needs to be renamed “If Hitler Had Children”. I find his treatment of his children obsessive. He is abusive with his comments and his children will resent him in their later years. I can see the youngest becoming a sociopath. He needs treatment NOW…maybe they should show that.
    This is also nothing more than an ad for his new clothing store.

  41. JWet says:

    Gay as a goose.

  42. ann says:

    He is very obviously gay. He should just come out

    • Tony says:

      Yes! I think to everyone in the queer community this is obvious… how does his wife not know?

      • Marion says:

        Have you all never heard of Georgia prissy? Hard to believe,but I bet Todd is NOT gay. He is Southern and has a sissy Southern accent. That doesn’t make him gay. His wife seems very much in love with him, and he with her, and I think after 2 marriages and all these kids, the man certainly would have “come out.” He has a highly artistic side, and his home, his clothing and his taste exhibit this. It doesn’t mean he MUST be gay. He’s artistic.

More TV News from Variety

Loading