Absurd Planet

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Absurd Planet TV Poster Image
Lots of potty humor in family-friendly educational series.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

By teaching viewers about the physical makeup and natural habits of animals of various species around the world, this series offers excellent and palatable educational material for young viewers (and older ones will learn things too). 

Positive Messages

With its lighthearted and comic tone, this series asks fewer weighty questions than other series, but it may ignite viewers' curiosity and spur them to learn more about animals and their habitats. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

There is some mocking humor on this show (like when Mother Nature says that an animal lives in a "dark, warm, humid" environment she likens to a "hipster's beanie in the summer"), but there's also a healthy respect for natural diversity and each animal's unusual habits: "Just because something's weird doesn't mean it's not worthy," sums up Mother Nature. 

Violence & Scariness

We learn about how and what animals eat, often, other animals, but the only "death scenes" involve bugs and other non-mammal creatures like worms, so you won't see blood, injuries, terrified animals, and other hard-to-take footage. There are occasionally comic moments that reference violence, like when we meet a satanic leaf-tailed gecko and a faux heavy-metal song on the soundtrack repeats "Kill, kill, kill." 

Sexy Stuff

There are occasional mentions of animals mating and a few questionable jokes, like when Mother Nature says "Don't sit on a narwhal...unless that's your thing" as we see narwhals with their pointy tusks. 

Language

No cursing, but there's a considerable amount of potty humor, with shots of animals emptying their bowels, a look at dung beetles and their love of "poo," a marabou stork is said to have a "scrotum neck." An animal's rectum is called a "b-end," and a "poo hamper."  

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Absurd Planet is about some of the world's most unusual creatures. Like most nature shows, it has lots of educational tidbits about animals and their habitats. Unlike most, it shares this information in a comic way, with lots of potty humor that will delight young viewers (and may or may not turn off some parents). Expect plenty of shots of animals going to the bathroom, as well as a focus on the less palatable aspects of their lives. For instance, there's a segment on the pearlfish and how it lives inside the sea cucumber's rectum (called a "tushy," "b-end," "poo hamper," and more in the show's language). And there's one about the dung beetle and its love for "poo" (accompanied by visuals of various types of animal feces). But other than the potty humor and and iffy-for-some jokes and language, this show doesn't have any content that's too upsetting. The only animals viewers see dying are ones like bugs and worms, and the camera doesn't linger on faces or blood (if there is any). Absurd Planet also has visible respect for animals and how they live: "Just because something's weird doesn't mean it's not worthy," sums up Mother Nature. This series may ignite viewers' curiosity, and it's an excellent educational whole-family bet for those who don't mind the off-color jokes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGerryBb April 25, 2020

Inappropriate

My boyfriend and I love watching nature shows, so we thought we would give it a try. Didn’t realize it was for children until we started the show, thought it wa... Continue reading
Adult Written byAsmarino April 26, 2020

Absurd is right!

It's absurd that a show with so much sexual innuendo would be marketed towards children! It seems entertaining and informative at first but within the 3 ep... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byUDream127 April 30, 2020

Inappropriate :(

I had to watch this documentary for my science class and thought it would be okay. Turns out that the documentary makes inappropriate jokes and shows disturbing... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byfrsullivan June 16, 2020

Dissapointed

My little brother started watching this and I heard some questionable language and when I looked it up on Common Sense It said nothing! it has many questionable... Continue reading

What's the story?

The aptly named ABSURD PLANET takes a peek at some of the world's weirdest animals, from narwhals to mud skippers to the pygmy slow loris, all real animals that have successfully managed to make a go of it thanks to their unusual habits. Join narrator Mother Nature as she looks in on habitats all over the world to show us how these crazy creatures live. 

Is it any good?

Nature is indeed fascinating and weird, and this show filled with second-grade jokes about the weird creatures of our world is perfect education-plus-entertainment for family viewing. The visuals are absolutely beautiful, with candy-colored creatures caught in the act of living their everyday lives and incredible overhead habitat vistas, but this could be said of almost any nature show. What sets Absurd Planet apart is the humor, which isn't dirty or sharp enough to offend parents, and is calculated to delight young kids, because second graders and fart jokes go together like peanut butter and jelly. In the first episode alone, we meet the pearlfish that live inside a sea cucumber's butt, feces-munching dung beetles, and marabou storks, who are equipped with appendages aptly described as a "scrotum neck." 

Thankfully, though Absurd Planet is all-in for grade-school humor, it avoids another type of scene popular in nature shows: the bloody kill. Many the animal-lover has begun an animal show filled with adoration for an adorable creature...that soon ends up being ripped apart by a predator. Though Absurd Planet does take pleasure in investigating some of nature's grosser aspects (note how many animals we see emptying their bowels), and we do hear about what and how animals eat, including each other, visuals are limited to brief moments in which dying bugs struggle or a juicy worm is nibbled by a star nosed mole, there's no blood and no dramatic moments of death. Families of nature appreciators, listen up: You might learn something, and at the very least, your kids won't mind watching. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the tone of Absurd Planet. Is it serious? Funny? How common is it to use humor to drive home information? Is this approach enjoyable to you and your family? Why or why not? Does the humor make viewers more likely to watch and enjoy? What type of viewer is this show attempting to appeal to? 

  • Is there a need for conservation and protection of certain species? Why are some species endangered? How close is our connection to nature, and why does that matter? What does "conservation" mean?

  • How does Absurd Planet promote curiosity? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

  • Premiere date: April 22, 2020
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Educational
  • Character strengths: Curiosity
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: July 17, 2020

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