Dallas & Robo

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Dallas & Robo TV Poster Image
Language, sci-fi violence in grown-up animated series.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Themes tend toward the negative, with good friends mocking each other frequently and main characters sliding out of trouble just by getting lucky. We're clearly meant to find frequent drinking to be a rakish outlaw behavior. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Show is gender-balanced, and Robo is an interesting character: a sentient robot in a world of mostly mindless bots. Other representations not so positive: One character is called "Fat Paul" and constantly talks about eating; a woman tells Robo that robots whined "like little bitches" about a systematic robot genocide. 

Violence

Violence tends to be silly: choreographed fights with blaring harmonica "trucker music," Dallas finds a severed hand that she uses to prank her friends. Still, there are many battles, and sci-fi weaponry like laser guns. Also, show frequently talks about dangers of space, illustrated by scene that shows a character spinning out alone into space to die. A band of villains are cannibals and talk happily about "people meat." 

 

Sex

References to sex, such as a scene in which Dallas says she's going to let a stranger at a bar "feel me up in the bathroom." 

Language

Cursing and language includes "s--t," "ass," "dammit," "hell," "son of a bitch," "a--holes," "d--k," "buttholes," "crap," "pissed," "dumbass," "tits." The word "f--k" is bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dallas is an enthusiastic drinker who stops off at bars for drinks while on a trucking run -- expect many scenes to take place in bars. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dallas & Robo is an adult animated show about the adventures of space trucker Dallas (Kat Dennings) and her loyal robot pal Robo (John Cena). Expect mature content in this series, including frequent violence: Dallas and Robo often run afoul of villains, such as a sect of cannibalistic bikers, and engage in battles with sci-fi weapons. Violence can be on the gory side, played for laughs, like scenes in which Dallas finds a severed decayed human hand and uses it for pranks. Sexual content is also on the mature side, like a scene in which Dallas offers to let a man in a bar grope her in the bathroom. Speaking of bars, they're frequent: Dallas is a heavy drinker, and there are a lot of jokes about her desire to booze it up, even when she's driving her rig. Language includes "s--t," "ass," "dammit," "hell," "son of a bitch," "a--holes," "d--k," "buttholes," "crap," "pissed," "dumbass," and "t-ts." "F--k" is bleeped.

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What's the story?

The adult animated series DALLAS & ROBO centers on a space trucker (and disgraced stock car driver) Dallas (Dennings) and her robot companion, Robo (Cena), as they journey through the universe, delivering cargo from here to there and taking on rival space truckers, dangerous cannibal bikers, vengeful bounty hunters, and other evildoers in their trusty big rig. 

Is it any good?

With blah animation and tepid characters, this series reads as a rip-off of other, better animated outings like Futurama and Rick and Morty, with a few "could have been a contender" ideas. The most intriguing notion here is Robo, an artificial intelligence-equipped bot in a universe where an "AI cull" at some point in recent history got rid of most of Robo's kind and turned robots exclusively into mindless servants that bring drinks and fix spaceships. But Robo has a curious power: Not only is he sentient, but he can bring other robots to life.

There are all sorts of interesting implications here -- which Dallas & Robo chooses to mostly ignore, concentrating instead on ho-hum battles with cannibal space outlaws and bounty hunters, with Robo and hard-drinking party girl Dallas hauling cargo, kicking ass, and hopping from battle to battle across the galaxy. Too bad, because watching a robot struggle to find his place in an unfriendly universe is a lot more compelling. You may want to let this one keep on trucking. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the market for shows such as Dallas & Robo. Is this the kind of entertainment adults want? What is the appeal of animated series for grown-ups?

  • Is this series controversial? Does any of its content cross the line? Do TV ratings do enough to warn viewers about a show's content?

  • How much of what we see in entertainment do we internalize? Is it important that the characters be good role models or not? What shows do you watch that have positive behavior models?

TV details

For kids who love animation

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