By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Racy British 'toon sends iffy messages to teens.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Societal problems (prostitution, theft, murder, police corruption) are played for laughs, and jokes are constantly made at others' expense (many groups are picked on, including the mentally ill). Racial slang like "cracker" is common, and characters often use obscene hand gestures.
Positive Role Models
Adults are insensitive and unresponsive to troubled teens, and students don't respect their teachers.
Violence & Scariness
Bloody but short-lived injuries caused by things like animal bites and projectiles (bricks, rocks, knives). In one scene, an apartment building collapses, and adult characters discuss the number of likely casualties.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female cartoon characters wear bras and panties; in at least one scene, a man is shown in a thong. Genitalia are mentioned (slang terms like "c--k" and "t--t").
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Strong expletives like "bitch" and "s--t" (uncensored), and slang terms for genitalia like "c--k." Multiple versions of "f--k" are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Cell phones are prevalent among teens.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Both teens and adults smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although it's animated, this British comedy isn't for little kids. Like South Park, it's filled with strong language ("s--t" is unbleeped; "f--k" is censored), smoking, racial slurs, troubled teen characters, and jokes at the expense of social outsiders. Violence is often graphic -- in one scene, for example, a man is pelted with bricks until he collapses in a pool of blood. The teen characters harass their teachers and their peers, and adults are unresponsive to students' needs, often focusing on their quests for sex and money above all else. In other words? Skip it.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
British animated series BROMWELL HIGH centers on the antics of three troublemaking teen girls at an impoverished high school in London. The streetwise trio consists of tough-talking ringleader Keisha (voiced by Gina Yashere), dimwitted Latrina (Nina Conti), and Natella (Jo Wyatt), whose intellectual abilities lose out to poor decision-making when she's around her friends. The girls roam the school's dilapidated, graffiti-covered halls, smoking and wreaking havoc on their fellow students and the indifferent teaching staff -- most of whom are too engrossed in their own extracurricular activities to notice the students' misdeeds. Since winning the school in a poker game, Headmaster Iqbal (Simon Greenhall) spends his working hours plotting ways to suck money out of his acquisition, and teachers Ms. Dickson (Tracy-Ann Oberman) and Ms. Jackson (Doon Mackichan) regularly troll the campus on the hunt for romantic assignations.
Is It Any Good?
Mature viewers who understand the intricacies of British society might enjoy this series' dark humor, but for just about everyone else, it's really not worth the effort it takes to watch it. Overall it's little more than a celebration of bad behavior with little consequence. Racial, socioeconomic, and intellectual stereotypes run rampant, strong language is constant, and unimpressive characters send negative messages about education and hard work.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how and why shows like this stereotype teens, races, socioeconomic groups, and social outsiders. Do you find this kind of humor entertaining? Why or why not? What other shows is this one similar to? Families can also discuss how the show compares to real-life high school experiences. Teens: What aspectsb of Bromwell High, if any, are like your school? How does the teaching staff compare? What about the students themselves?
- Premiere date: February 1, 2005
- Cast: Gina Yashere, Jo Wyatt, Nina Conti
- Network: BBC America
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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