A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Any positive messages are undermined by morally flawed but likable characters. Support your family. Do the right thing. Take responsibility when you've messed up. Learn to forgive. But most of the characters don't practice them, or they try to but end up making more problems for themselves, like when Sammy attacks her son's bully.
Positive Role Models
Tess, Sammy's daughter, is a social reject at her new school but knows (and does) right from wrong, has good intuition about others, is confident. Jean, Sammy's mom, is a recovering alcoholic, and is caring and vulnerable. Sammy, Lenny (her teenage son), her brother Jim, neighbor teen Abby, and several other supporting characters are generally mean, selfish, vindictive, angry, or abrasive, though they all have good moments, too. One character is Chinese and is the subject of racist comments. Everyone else is White.
Violence & Scariness
Physical and verbal bullying, with no to minimal consequences for the bullies. Sammy and Jim fight and call each other names, as do Lenny and Tess. One minor character dies via gunshot, but viewers only briefly see a dead, bloody body.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual intercourse between adult characters is shown several times (in bed, in an alleyway, in a car). One interrupted attempt at masturbation (again, no nudity). Frequent, crude sexual talk throughout.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Lots of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," and variants, and "bitch." Aussie/British swears like "wanker" and "piss off" are also used frequently. Some racist comments and jokes toward the sole Chinese character. Some derogatory remarks about women.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Uncle Jim is protective of his Choco-Bombs cereal and drinks the same kind of beer, but they are fictional brands.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults sometimes drink to excess, experience hangovers. Adults and teens smoke cigarettes and pot. References to heroin and other drug use.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Frayed is a dark Australian comedy set in 1989 about Sammy Cooper, a rich housewife from London who returns with her teenagers to Australia after her husband's embarrassing death reveals that the family is broke. Sammy and her brother, Jim, fight incessantly, as do Sammy's kids, Lenny and Tess. None of the characters are very nice to each other, but they do love each other. Characters experience verbal and physical bullying and abuse. A minor character dies by gunshot, but the scene shows only brief glimpses of a lifeless, bloody body. There is sex between adult characters and masturbation (no nudity), and lots of crude sexual talk. Profanity includes frequent uses of "s--t," f--k," "bitch," "wanker" and "piss off." Racist comments toward the sole Chinese character and derogatory remarks about women are also a concern. Several times, adults drink to excess and have hangovers. Adults and teens smoke cigarettes and pot. Whether teens watch alone or with adults, there are opportunities to talk about the bullying/abuse, racism, and sexism in the show.
Is It Any Good?
This Aussie import charms and disturbs with its creative twist on the "homecoming" story. Sarah Kendall, who wrote Frayed and plays Sammy, delivers a story that feels real and absurd. A self-centered liar, Sammy fled a broken heart when she first left Australia. Her plotting to return to London, though, feels like a ridiculous pursuit, stalling reconciliations she wants at home. Uncle Jim is sadly one-dimensional, and the butt of many jokes -- he's dumb, racist, and sexist, though his soft spot for his sister's kids can be endearing. Jean and Tess's storylines are the most satisfying to watch as they struggle to adjust and stay true to themselves.
Though a dramedy, the show can feel disjointed when drama overshadows humor. The racism is pointless beyond cheap laughs, and the show offers weak commentary on women's equality. Still, the multiple storylines leave viewers with plenty to explore. Teens will enjoy the young people's stories and seeing parents struggle to grow up, and adults will laugh and cringe as Sammy gets herself into absurd situations. A solid pick for older teens and adults.
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.