Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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 Avenue 5 is a futuristic science fiction comedy series about the captain (House's Hugh Laurie) and crew aboard a cruise ship in space. It contains strong sexual innuendo, lots of cursing and crude references including "s--t" and "f--k," and some drinking. There are some references to contemporary cultural iconic things like Google, Kindles, and popular books like Gone Girl. This HBO genre-bender is edgier than similar shows like The Orville and Other Space, but families who like their sci-fi with jokes may enjoy it.
Lord of the flies, but in space
Report this review
What's the Story?
From the creator of Veep comes AVENUE 5, a futuristic comedy series about the captain and crew aboard a space cruise ship. Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) is the captain of Avenue 5, the most luxurious JuddSpace space cruiser to navigate the galaxy. Helping him keep the ship running smoothly is Rav Mulcair, (Nikki Asuka-Bird) the head of mission control on Earth, and engineer Billie McEvoy (Lenora Chrichlow). But after a major technical glitch, they find themselves scrambling to figure out a way to get the ship home. It's up to Matt Spencer (Zach Woods), the head of passenger services, to handle the 5000 disgruntled passengers, while Herman Judd (Josh Gad), the head of Judd Corporation and the mastermind behind luxury space tourism, handles the public relations nightmare with his his right-hand woman, Iris Kimora (Suzy Nakamura).
Is It Any Good?
This uneven satire, set 40 years in the future, offers some funny, fast-talking banter thanks to the solid talent that comprises the ensemble cast. Part of the fun comes from the incompetent crew, but the best examples of wit are mainly references to contemporary people, companies, and popular culture, either to highlight how they were once (in 2020) culturally relevant, or to point to their demise. But the jokes don't often land long enough for audiences to appreciate them, and sometimes the comedy and science fiction elements don't come together very well. But Avenue 5's premise is worth a try.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Avenue 5 portrays the future of space travel. Do you think it will look like this in 40 years? Why or why not? Would you want to go on a "space cruise?"
What are some of the ways the series combines science fiction with comedy? Does it do so effectively?
What are some of the challenges that come with writing and producing comedy shows and movies? Who decides what is funny and what isn't?
- Premiere date: January 19, 2020
- Cast: Hugh Laurie, Zach Woods, Josh Gad
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Lots o' language doesn't detract from hilarious satire.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Laugh until it hurts with Seinfeld creator.
Bill Hader's subtle turn best part of dark hit man comedy.
The Righteous Gemstones
Violence, language, nudity in fun Southern-fried satire.
For kids who love comedy
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate