A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this live-action series is part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup and isn't meant for young viewers. Characters use some salty language ("hell," "jackass," "pissed," etc.) and some strong sexual innuendo, including pictures of scantily clad women. One character wears a sock over his genitals. Some of the characters' behavior exhibited is rather crude -- like smelling someone's previously worn underwear. Beer drinking and marijuana smoking are also visible.
What's the story?
FAT GUY STUCK IN INTERNET is a science fiction-like comedy series about the adventures of Ken Gemberling (played by John Gemberling), a talented but obnoxious computer programmer who mysteriously gets sucked into the Internet. Once inside, he's told by cyberbeings Bit (Neil Casey) and Byte (Liz Cackowski) that he's the long-awaited Chosen One destined to save the cyberverse from ultimate destruction. He's guided by the teachings of The Watcher (Curtis Gwinn) while fighting deadly computer viruses, slave runners, and barbarians. Ken's problems get worse when his mysterious employer -- known only as the CEO -- sends a vicious but rather cowardly bounty hunter named Chains (also Gwinn) to kill him.
Is it any good?
While the show's overall plot bears some resemblance to that of The Matrix, what makes it unique is the combination of live-action improvisational comedy and visual effects to create a campy cyberworld. Most of the characters are quirky and exhibit silly and/or crude behavior in an attempt to generate laughs. There are also some simplistic moral lessons about the importance of friendship and the significance of being part of a noble cause.
Although the show's unlikely hero becomes more likeable, the truth is that Fat Guy Stuck in Internet is only mildly funny. It's got its share of strong material, too, including marijuana smoking and strong sexual innuendo. This, combined with some of the rough humor, makes it too strong for tweens and iffy for young teens. But older viewers may be intrigued by its creative approach to mature comedy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how imaginary computer or Internet worlds are presented in the media. Why do you think many of these worlds are depicted as dark and violent? If you were to create a show about the inside of the Internet, what would cyberspace look like? What real-life issues related to computer and Internet use does the show address, if any? Who do you think it's intended audience is?