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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A main character is an overly effeminate man whom everyone presumes is homosexual (though it's never stated outright). Sexist remarks are played for humor, and the series pokes fun at class divisions within British society. Double entendres often play on sexual references. Gender stereotyping runs rampant, but it's within the context of the time period.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional suggestive jokes (a handkerchief folded and puffed to resemble a penis, for example); frequent double entendres often include sexual innuendo, like a woman talking about her "p---y" (she means "cat," of course, but...!). Naked female mannequins are often involved in comic scenarios with sexual overtones.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Conversations allude to alcohol use by some adult characters.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this classic '70s/'80s British sitcom finds a lot of its humor in suggestive double entendres (a woman talking "innocently" about her cat uses the word "p---y," for example) and fairly vague sexual innuendo. Men frequently make sexist remarks about women -- who have little recourse, since the men rarely pay their concerns much mind. One main character is an effeminate man who everyone assumes is homosexual, though it's never confirmed. Teens will likely find the series dated and dry, but adults who can put it into context will get a few chuckles.
Is It Any Good?
Are You Being Served? continues to enjoy popularity on both sides of the pond more than 30 years after its hasty launch on British TV. The show's nods to classic British humor include sight gags, misunderstandings galore, and double entendres (the most popular of which involved Mrs. Slocombe's tales about her cat, which she always called "p---y"). It also serves up a hefty dose of mockery at the traditional English class system, which is best appreciated by viewers familiar with its inner workings.
The series will appeal mostly to adults, who will be able to put the extreme gender stereotyping, tense relationships between the sexes, and suggestive double entendres in context. Teens, on the other hand, will probably be turned off by the show's obviously passé feel; if they do tune in, be sure to give them some background on now-dated gender relationships and views on homosexuality.
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Our Editors Recommend
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