A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Characters treat each other with mockery and disdain and champion values like being a bully or refusing dates with anyone who's not cool enough.
Positive Role Models
High School USA! is meant to be satirical, and as such its characters are archetypes in service to plot points. There are main characters of color, but aside from them, there's nearly zero racial diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Some cartoonish violence, such as one character threatening to punch another one if he doesn't put out a cigarette. There is scuffling and fist-fighting, with animated blood flying out of punched noses. Casual references to rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to masturbation, casual sex, anonymous homosexual bathroom hookups, etc. Two girls agree to "lez out" as an alternative to dating a boy they think is a geek; they kiss wetly and at length. No animated nudity is shown but there are plenty of scantily clad animated bodies and sexual humor.
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No cursing, but plenty of rough language: "You suck!"
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that High School USA! is a rude animated satire of high school narratives with many jokes and situations parents will find offensive. There are many sexual entendres and images: animated near-naked bodies, a girl sitting on a toilet, a mother making obscene hand gestures. There are jokes about rape and suicide, and rough and insulting language, though no cursing. The female characters on the show are portrayed in a sexist fashion, always in short dresses and concerned with shopping and dances. Teachers, parents, and other authority figures are weak and useless. Characters scuffle and punch each other; blood flies from noses.
Is It Any Good?
Many years after the The Simpsons (and later Family Guy and still later American Dad) made mincemeat out of typical family sitcom plots, and shows like Daria and Awkward. did the same for earnest high school dramedies, it takes a really fresh approach to make this kind of humor laugh-out-loud funny. This isn't it. The jokes aren't sharply written enough to make the sitcommy antics funny, and the goings on aren't absurd enough to elevate the same old plots you've seen a million times.
That said, there are some amusing ideas at work here. The notion of a cyberbully teaching a meathead how to really torture people is a unique one, and there's definitely humor to be mined from the concept of a kid discovering her parent has an extremely seamy secret life (though South Park did it better 10+ years ago). But considering the pedigree of the creators of High School USA!, one just wishes this was funnier.
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.