Brassic

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Brassic TV Poster Image
Bingeworthy Brit crime comedy has swearing, drugs, violence.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

It's about a group of degenerates on the surface, but the show is about friendship and maintaining healthy relationships at its heart.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters act mostly out of self-interest. Though they often strive to be moral and loyal, it's within their own set of values that often involves deceit and criminality.

Violence

More petty crime (theft, gambling) than violent crime. Characters get shot at; get in severe car accidents, etc.

Sex

A wide variety of sexual acts are discussed at length. Simulated sex is shown with obscured nudity (e.g. shot over the shoulder, under the covers). 

Language

Profanity is abundant: the "f" word, the "c" word, s--t, etc.

Consumerism

No consumerism is present on Brassic.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and smoke. Some characters are involved in the drug trade (eg growing marijuana).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brassic is a British comedy-drama about a group of petty criminals who live in a fictional town in Northern England. The show follows Vinnie (Joseph Gilgun) and his crew of friends as they get into trouble throughout their small town, committing mostly petty crimes like theft, gambling, and growing marijuana -- crimes that the show mostly plays for comedy.  Some violence is featured: for example, characters get shot at and get into a car crash. Vinnie has bipolar disorder and exhibits suicidal thoughts, and the show plays this realistically without shying away from the subject matter. Profanity is used constantly, including "f--k" and "c--t." Sexual content includes discussion of a wide variety of sexual acts as well as simulated sex. Characters drink, smoke, and use drugs. Brassic is tonally similar to some British crime movies from the late 1990s like Trainspotting, which teeter back and forth between glorifying and condemning drug use.

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What's the story?

BRASSIC follows the charismatic Vinnie (Joseph Gilgun) and his friends as they get involved with various criminal schemes in the small town of Hawley in Northern England. Vinnie has bipolar disorder, which frequently makes him depressed and sometimes even suicidal. Vinnie's best friend, Dylan (Damien Moloney), is torn between their friendship and his loyalty to his girlfriend, Erin (Michelle Keegan), who has aspirations of moving away from the small town and building a better life elsewhere for herself and her young son. But Vinnie keeps roping Dylan back into a life of drinking, gambling, and petty crime, while Erin becomes increasingly convinced they'll never grow up.

Is it any good?

This series seems to crib a lot of its character arcs and plot points from elsewhere, but it's electric to watch. Brassic's energy specifically recalls the late 90s/early 2000s rush of British crime dramas popularized by Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting) and Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch). It's not a complete throwback -- character threads such as Vinnie's grappling with bipolar disorder make the content feel current -- but in an era where many dramas move at a glacial pace, Brassic earns its bingeworthiness on momentum alone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about mental illness. How does Brassic treat Vinnie's bipolar disorder? What other shows address similar situations? 

  • What do you know about Vinnie's community? How is he viewed by his friends? Other townspeople? Do you think Vinnie has healthy relationships with his friends? Why or why not?

TV details

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For kids who love British TV

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