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 the satirical Family Guy sister show Bordertown contains lots of stereotyping, especially when it comes to Mexican immigrants and Americans living in the Southwest. It's an animated show for grown-ups, so there's lots of gory fantasy violence, strong sexual innuendo (including partial nudity), bathroom humor, and endless drinking. Drug use and trafficking are also common themes. The language is strong ("crap," "bitch," "bastard"; bleeped curses), too. It contains lots of anti-immigration rhetoric by some characters, though much of it is challenged.
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What's the story?
From Family Guy creator Mark Hentemann comes BORDERTOWN, an animated series that takes a satirical look at life near the U.S.-Mexican border. Border control agent Bud Buckwald (Hank Azaria) and landscaping company owner Ernesto Gonzalez (Nicholas Gonzalez) are neighbors in Mexifornia, U.S.A., a fictitious desert town in the Southwest. While Buckwald struggles with his own prejudices and supporting his family -- including his wife, Janice (Alex Borstein); freeloading son, Sanford (Judah Friedlander); daughters Becky (also voiced by Borstein) and Gert (Missi Pyle) -- Gonzalez, his wife, Maria (Stephanie Escajeda), their son, Ruiz (Efren Ramirez), and their nephew, graduate student J.C. (voiced by Gonzalez), are living their American dream. As Mexifornia continues to change, their lives become more intertwined, and both sides learn more about the other.
Is it any good?
This unapologetic and irreverent satire highlights the various social, political, and economic issues and controversies surrounding immigration and the prevailing attitudes about them. To this end, it relies on traditional and contemporary stereotypes -- from American rednecks and corrupt politicians to Mexican gardeners and violent narcos -- to make its points. True to Hentemann's style, it also contains its fair share of subtle pop culture references and crazy running gags that add to the fray.
Despite the zaniness, there's some smart commentary being offered here. But the cross-cultural humor may not sit well with some viewers, especially among those who believe that Latino populations have more to lose from the way their immigrant experience (legal or otherwise) is being characterized here. Nonetheless, folks who like this sort of humor will certainly find themselves laughing throughout.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the U.S. media addresses immigration. Why is it so controversial? Is the coverage of this issue fair or unbiased? Do you think using stereotypes as a way of addressing immigration in entertainment programs is a good idea?
Are TV and film satires designed to get people to think more about the topics they're poking fun at? Or are they really just to make people laugh? Are there lines that shouldn't be crossed?
For kids who love edgy comedy
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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.
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