By Gemma Agravante,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Timely but crass topical criticism in cringey Colbert 'toon.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Everyone is doing their best, the only way they know how. Encourages friendships and respectful co-existence with others from different backgrounds, views, experiences than your own. Promotes friendship, cooperation, and teamwork, but does so using heavy satire -- crude language, violent visuals, and vulgar jokes.
Positive Role Models
Even though Mayor Kelly used to be a big partier, she's trying to be a responsible citizen and leader, engaging in candid dialogue with her community. Many characters, though, are consistently terrible examples for kids, and rarely held accountable for their behavior.
A Black and Southeast Asian women are the mayor and city manager of their small town, Fairview. Teenagers pose thoughtful responses and intellectually challenge their parents' views of the world. In a private conversation, a parent refers to their teenage child's nonbinary friend using they/them pronouns, even though it's something they're not familiar with. Voice cast includes multiple BIPOC cast members. The common racial and political tropes are often upended; layered nuances give way to interesting identities intersecting, deftly drawing stark cultural commentaries through the plotlines.
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Violence & Scariness
Verbal bodily threats, people hit by cars and killed with cartoon gore. There's a poorly dug mass grave overflowing with bodies named "The COVID Pit."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dialogue around sexual wellness products. Two characters have a consensual, nonromantic sexual agreement; they are seen in bed together.
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Constant crass language includes "damn," "f--k," "dumbass," "t-tty" and "s--t." Phrases include "eat my ass," and "f--king a--holes pieces of s--t."
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Products & Purchases
They'll use a satirized pseudonym, but expect many episodes critiquing large corporations and their labor practices.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters share memorable stories from their wild college party days, talking about using "rum-soaked tampons." A line contains the phrase "snorting biological weapons."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fairview is a raunchy adult animated comedy produced by Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) set in a fictional small town in middle America that's filled with stubborn and opinionated residents. Distilling national current events into what they might look like in local government, no topic is off limits for writer R.J. Fried (Tooning Out the News); foul language, gory cartoon violence, sex stuff, and substance use abound. The humor is vulgar but often sharp, hyper-topical, crass, and highbrow at once. Social and political commentary is plentiful and rapid.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 1 parent review
The Most Biased Cartoon I Have Ever Seen
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What's the Story?
In the small town of FAIRVIEW, a notorious party girl turned "responsible adult," Mayor Kelly Sampson (Marina Cockenberg) and the citizens she serves, navigate life together in this crass adult animated satire of American culture. Addressing a range of contentious views including COVID-19 vaccinations, "cancel culture," how large corporations treat their employees, the militarization of law enforcement, Critical Race Theory, cryptocurrency and NFTs, climate change, and organized religion, Fairview's candid residents insist on touching every hot button issue.
Is It Any Good?
Producer Stephen Colbert is no fool; he knows precisely the niche he's signing his name to -- a show that may not even be funny, but that might actually be the idea. Calling Fairview irreverent is an understatement, and the show doesn't quite register as enjoyable. The writers just lob lewd jokes at us and hope a few will stick. It's self-deprecating and over the top, bombarding us with gross visuals, leaving viewers wincing at insensitive jokes. Where would satire be without existential dread, amirite? Overdrawing human behaviors and ideals en masse, Fairview layers cultural commentary on heavy. Laughter gets muddled around the social issues tackled here.
Beyond that, Fairview asks its audience to be attentive, to look at global issues with a wide lens, to ask big why questions, and to consider how individual choices affect a community's ability to thrive. Parents and caretakers using Fairview as a common ground can open up space for challenging dialogue around tough issues. The catch? In order to fully grasp the nuanced social commentary and wit of the production, you'll have to sit through at least 22 minutes of dark, asinine humor. Expect profanity and high levels of cringe, but remember: For satire to be good it has to be smart -- and this, somehow, is.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about representation in Fairview. How does seeing Black women represented in senior government roles make you feel?
Parents can talk to their kids about the use of profanity in television and other media. What role does it serve, if any? Does it make the content better? Why or why not?
Many folks compare Fairview to South Park, which also takes social issues to the center of its stories. Do you think mature-themed topical comedies like these help older teens make sense of current events?
- Premiere date: February 9, 2022
- Cast: Marina Cockenberg, Aparna Nancherla, James Austin Johnson
- Network: Comedy Central
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
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.
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