CHAOS

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
CHAOS TV Poster Image
Moderate violence in action-driven spy spoof.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show makes light of a dangerous world and mines gags from the perceived inefficiency of government-run agencies, and the main characters tend to distrust authority. But on the plus side, they put a lot of trust in each other, relying on teamwork to protect the country.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rick Martinez is an everyman most viewers can identify with, and he takes his responsibilities seriously, balancing an innate sense of duty with his own moral code. The agents he works with are honorable, too, but they often skirt the rules and play mind games with management in pursuit of the greater good.

Violence

Overall, the tone is comedic rather than violent. But the main characters do carry weapons and use them to take out enemies of the state. There's light to medium combat and minimal blood.

Sex

Light sexual innuendo, with the potential for interoffice romances. Some passionate kissing, but it's rare.

Language

Rare use of words like "damn" and "hell" and off-color insults like "jerk-ass."

Consumerism

A few brand names are mentioned, including Windows and IBM.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Minimal social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this offbeat comedy concerns a ragtag group of CIA agents who pull dangerous missions all over the world and regularly carry weapons to defend themselves, which means that mid-level violence is a regular part of the plot. That said, the overall tone is decidedly light, and there's minimal (if any) blood. In terms of language, characters occasionally use gateway words like "hell" or "damn," or sling iffy insults like "jerk-ass." There's also subtle sexual innuendo between male and female characters with potential for interoffice romance.

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What's the story?

When aspiring spy Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) reports for his first day of work at the CIA, he’s unexpectedly re-assigned to the agency’s Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services team -- otherwise known as CHAOS -- where he’ll function as a mole to report any funny business. But when Rick’s new co-workers (Eric Close, James Murray, and Tim Blake Nelson) uncover the ruse, they leverage his skills for their own gain in a series of rogue operations.

Is it any good?

With its everyman protagonist and exotic locations, Chaos is bound to draw comparisons to the quirky spy comedy Chuck. And, like Chuck, it's refreshingly kid-friendly for teens who like their action with a side of laughs. But while the show doesn't quite hit all of the right notes, the core members of the CHAOS team have promising chemistry.

Maybe the real question though, amid seriously real global instability, is: Are we in the mood to laugh at ourselves?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show’s tone and its lighthearted take on keeping the world safe. Would the show be more or less enjoyable if the tone were entirely serious? Does the show paint the world as more or less of a dangerous place than it actually is?

  • How does the level of violence on this show compare with similar spy series on TV?

  • How do these agents compare to other spies you’ve seen on TV and in the movies? Why do so many movies and TV shows about espionage tend to glamorize the job?

TV details

For kids who love spy action

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