A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Eli's family can be loving but they are also violent and abusive. Eli and Gus love and support each other through hard times.
Positive Role Models
Most of the adults in this series are terrible role models, but others are complex, like convicted murderer/babysitter Slim, who cares for the boys with kindness.
The main chararacters are White. A small side character is Indigenous Australian. There are some potential stereotypes, like a Vietnamese drug lord. Some racial humor, like when a character claims to be descended from samurai and is reminded that he's Vietnamese. A main character has what appears to be selective mutism.
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Violence & Scariness
Many tense moments and overt, bloody violence, from prison yard brawls to a child being whipped by a teacher. A rat's tail is sliced off in a graphic scene. A woman is shown painfully detoxing from heroin.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are seen kissing on a bed.
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Frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," occasional use of words like "c--t" and "a--hole."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The series is about dealing drugs. Bricks of heroin and their sale are shown. Characters are shown high as well as detoxing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Boy Swallows Universe is an Australian series based on the book by Trent Dalton about Eli (played by Felix Cameron), a bright kid who gets involved with the family business: dealing drugs. Though this is a show with a kid narrator, it's got a lot of adult content. Expect extreme violence, from bloody prison-yard brawls to the graphic slicing of a rat's tail. Drugs and their effects are frequently present: Main characters sell drugs, specifically heroin, and some use them. Children are involved in the sale of drugs, and parents, like Travis Fimmel's stepdad Lyle, aren't positive role models. Frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "c--t." All of this is presented through a lightly comic lens, but the themes are dark, and there are many intense moments.
Is It Any Good?
This series features exceptional acting by the young actors, and Fimmel also shines as the dirtbag stepdad who can't stay out of trouble. Boy Swallows Universe does feature some cliches and stereotypes, like the overly kind, questioning school counselor, and a threatening Vietnamese drug kingpin. But frequently, the series goes deeper and presents strong portrayals of an Australian family whose underworld connections aren't the most interesting thing about them.
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.