Death Valley

(i)

 

MTV spoof series mixes humor, horror, and sexual content.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series satirizes contemporary media's focus on horror figures like vampires and zombies. Violence is exaggerated and treated comically.

Positive role models

Captain Dashell and his team are committed to protecting people from the undead and don't hesitate to violently eliminate them.

Violence

Lots of fantasy blood and gore. Officers kick, punch, stab, club, and shoot the undead. Some of the physical fights are comical, while others are quite vicious. Vomiting is visible.

Sex

Strong sexual references relating to genitalia and virginity; references to "p---y," "t-ts," and "balls." People are shown in skimpy underwear and in various stages of undress. Occasional photos containing nudity are blurred. Vampire prostitution (a.k.a. "sex for blood") is a common theme; suspects are often caught participating in various sex acts.

Language

Words like "ass," "pissed," and "damn" are audible; curses like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.

Consumerism

Songs from bands like Lights On and The Willowz are featured every week. References to popular shows like Glee.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this MTV comedy-horror series features lots of shooting, stabbing, clubbing, etc., accompanied by plenty of blood and gore. While most of it is fantasy violence, more sensitive (or squeamish) viewers will find it hard to watch. The language is pretty salty ("bitch" and "p---y" are audible, while "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped), and characters frequently make strong sexual comments (like crude references to genitalia and talk about an officer's virginity).

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What's the story?

DEATH VALLEY is a scripted series that follows the fictitious LAPD's Undead Task Force as they struggle to control the vampires, werewolves, and zombies that are trying to take over the San Fernando Valley. Captain Frank Dashell (Bryan Callen) and his team -- Officers Joe Stubeck (Charlie Sanders), Billy Pierce (Bryce Johnson), Carla Rinaldi (Tania Raymonde), and John Johnson (Texas Battle) -- chase the undead and eliminate them if necessary. Also joining the fight is rookie officer Kirsten Landry (Caity Lotz). As the law-enforcement team bravely protects the public from these terrifying beings, a local TV crew follows their every move, hoping to show viewers what it takes to fight the undead in Southern California.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This series dresses up its simple (and somewhat silly) plot line with slapstick humor and lots of blood and gore. It also pokes fun at reality law-enforcement shows like COPS by featuring scenes that look and feel like the real-life police chases and drive-alongs featured in these programs, but with a comic twist.

It's pretty funny, but it also has lots of violent moments, many of which include the use of guns, clubs, and other weapons. Severed body parts and other gruesome details are also standard fare. This, combined with some sexually explicit content and salty language, makes it a show best left for older teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the horror genre. What makes horror TV shows/films entertaining? Is it the blood and gore? The suspense and fear they try to create? Do horror films/shows have to be violent to be scary?

  • What's the effect of combining violence with comedy? Does it desensitize viewers? Does it change its significance? How do you feel after you watch violent shows?

  • What are some of the best horror films/TV shows of all time?

TV details

Cast:Bryan Callen, Bryce Johnson, Charlie Sanders
Network:MTV
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Death Valley was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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