A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series is about young adults in college, but underscores that there is a deaf culture with its own norms and values. Social distinctions and stereotypes within the community are discussed.
Positive Role Models
The cast ranges from being completely deaf to those with partial hearing. There are some central Black cast members, and students come from a range of different lived experiences. Some students are more judgmental than others. One cast member is a social media influencer.
Violence & Scariness
There's some arguing and bickering between students. Discussions about growing up in bad areas, getting arrested, and the death of a parent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong sexual content, including references to "scoring," having sex, orgasms, and crude sexual references. Some students discuss their sexuality. The challenges of communicating through sign language while being intimate are also discussed. A pregnancy is alluded to.
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Words like "bitch," "bastard," "a--hole," and curses like "s--t," and "f--k" are frequent. Signs for negative words are also shared.
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Products & Purchases
iPhones are frequently visible and Siri is discussed. References to liquor brands like Captain Morgan, Henessey, and are made. Logos for Nike, Columbia sportswear, and others are sometimes visible on clothes. Instagram is referenced.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of drinking, ranging from having wine or cocktails during happy hour or dates, to conversations about college boozing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Deaf U is a reality series featuring a cast of deaf and hard of hearing college students attending Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. There's lots of cursing, drinking, and strong sexual innuendo (crude references, conversations about sex and getting pregnant, etc.). It also offers some interesting details about deaf culture, and how people see themselves within the deaf community. iPhones are prominently featured and Instagram is discussed.
Is It Any Good?
This unscripted series is a lot like many reality shows in a way; it's got the standard dramatic stories, but this time combined with interesting details about deaf culture and community. Viewers hear lots of personal details about the cast thanks to one-on-one interviews, and the endless conversations they have with each other about their romantic entanglements. Unfortunately, there's not a ton of depth, which can make the discussions feel more exhausting than engaging.
However, Deaf U succeeds at informing viewers about the existence of deaf culture, and some of the particulars associated with it. Students share details about the differences in ASL (American Sign Language) fluency, how they create name signs to identify themselves and others, and the social strata within the community that are defined by deafness. Thoughts and concerns about some deaf students' willingness to cater to the hearing population is also discussed. If you can look past the mundane storylines, these conversations are the ones worth tuning in to.
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.