Arthur's Law

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Arthur's Law TV Poster Image
Irreverent, dark German comedy has sex, smoking, swearing.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Very dark, lots of bad behavior. It's a black comedy centered on a husband who is trying to kill his wife so he can be with his mistress. Jokes range from insults about people with disabilities to killing people. 

Positive Role Models

Everybody is flawed in this series. Arthur often seems harmless, clueless, victimized, but he's also trying to kill his wife to be with another woman. Martha is annoying, obnoxious. Jesse can be sweet. Depending on circumstances, other people in Arthur's life turn against him or find themselves in troubling situations. 

Violence

Brutal and bizarre injuries and deaths, often very bloody. Guns are visible, gunshots are fired. Arthur makes various attempts to create situations in which his wife is likely to die. 

Sex

Sex work and infidelity are themes. Crude conversations, including references to genitals and simulated sex acts. Partial buttocks and nude silhouettes are visible, but nothing explicit is shown. 

Language

German equivalents to words like "a--hole" and curses like "f--k" are uttered (and in English in the subtitles).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer, wine, hard liquor, and frequent cigarette smoking are visible. Selling drugs is discussed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Arthur's Law is an irreverent dark comedy from Germany about a man, his wife, and his mistress. It has lots of bizarre violence and bloody moments that are often played for laughs. Sexual content includes references to genitals and sex acts, and partial buttocks and nude silhouettes are visible. The show also has a lot of cursing, cigarette smoking, and drinking. 

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What's the story?

The German comedy series ARTHUR'S LAW (Arthur Gesetz) stars Jan Josef Liefers as an unlucky man who can't seem to catch a break. Arthur Ahnepol is unemployed and broke, and feels trapped in his marriage to his overbearing wife Martha (Martina Gedeck). But when he meets a young sex worker named Jesse (Cristina do Rego) at the local bar and brothel on his 50th birthday, Arthur decides that he wants to restart his life with her. To do that, he knows that Martha must die so that he can collect on her life insurance policy. But every time Arthur attempts to put a plan in motion, the results are disastrous.

Is it any good?

This dark comedy features a man who becomes consumed by his fantasies about his mistress, and the havoc he wreaks every time he tries to make them a reality. Arthur is a pathetic creature, and his goals are far from being moral or legal. But Martha's obnoxious personality makes his behavior a little more understandable, if not excusable. This results in a pretty funny plotline in which few people are particularly likable, but their interactions result in some very funny moments. 

It's well written and well produced, but some of the scenes occasionally border on slapstick, and some of the caustic lines mock things like disabilities, which can be hard to watch. While some of this is a result of cultural differences, the series pushes the envelope in a range of uniquely bizarre ways. If you like this sort of humor, Arthur's Law will not leave you disappointed. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Arthur Ahnepol and his role as the show's antihero. Arthur is dishonest and untrustworthy, but is he still likable? Are there any circumstances that justify his behaviors throughout the series?

  • If a U.S. adaptation of Arthur's Law was to be produced, what would it be like? Would it be as edgy as the original? Or would it have to change to appeal to larger U.S. audiences?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dark comedy

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