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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this program mines laughs from strong, unbleeped language -- ranging from gay slurs like "faggot" and "lezzo" to "s--t" and "motherf--ker." There's also some light violence, including reenactments of violent incidents, and some sexually charged terms and gestures, along with blurred-out nudity.
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What's the Story?
With ANGRY BOYS, Aussie writer-actor-creator Chris Lilley (Summer Heights High) puts forth another assortment of oddball characters, this time to explore issues facing young 21st century males. He plays six different characters in all: L.A.-based rapper S. mouse; ambitious Japanese mother Jen Okazaki; former surfing champ Blake Oakfield; teenage twins Daniel and Nathan Sims; and the boys' grandmother, Gran, who works as an officer at a juvenile detention center.
Is It Any Good?
Lilley proves he's got a gift for mimicry with the Boys (and girls) he creates here for our viewing pleasure. But not everyone will appreciate this series' sense of humor, which tends to rely on strong, uncensored language and slurs for shock value-driven laughs. He also attempts to play characters of different ethnicities -- including an African-American rapper and a Japanese mother -- which could come off as offensive stereotypes, depending on your perspective.
One character who works for sure is Gran, a 65-year-old prison officer at a juvenile detention center who, in her spare time, tends a tiny herd of guinea pigs and sews superhero costumes for her troubled charges. Gran makes plenty of politically incorrect mistakes (from splitting the boys into soccer teams based on their "light" and "dark" skins to playing cruel gotcha jokes on them for laughs). But there's also something about the way in which Lilley portrays her that's oddly heartwarming -- and charmingly human.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about satire and how it can be used as a tool for examining social issues. Is this show trying to make a serious point, or merely trying to make a joke? Does it ever go too far with racial slurs, stereotypes, and other insults?
How does Lilley's being Australian affect his brand of humor? How might the series be different if it focused solely on American characters from an American perspective?
Is there any truth behind all the comedy in terms of the issues facing young 21st century males? What issues affect you most in your daily life at school and at home?
- Premiere date: May 11, 2011
- Cast: Chris Lilley
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: High School
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: September 20, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Summer Heights High
Aussie high school satire is smart but very edgy.
Office mate mines showbiz for mature, awkward laughs.
Poignant comedy series has mature content, stereotypes.
For kids who love comedy
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