High School USA!

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
High School USA! TV Poster Image
Animated goof on high school drama has sex jokes galore.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive messages

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 & representations

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

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.

Sex

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.

Language

No cursing, but plenty of rough language: "You suck!"

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Teens smoke cigarettes.

What 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.

User Reviews

Adult Written byBigchris July 28, 2013

Defently a new kind of adult toon

Well when I watched this show last nigh my thoughts were stuff like "oh wats the worst that could happen its just 16 minutes " boy was I ever wrong i... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byThat90sguy July 28, 2013

THIS is a comedy?

High School USA is possibly the worst 'comedy' i have EVER seen. There is no humor. It's all one big innuendo. The writing in this show is horrib... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 11, 2013

great

awesome has good humor and is non stop laughing

What's the story?

Brought to you by the creators of Community, HIGH SCHOOL USA! is a naughty and perverse take on typical teenage drama, creating a world where a bully is urged to embrace his cruel side, and a girl expresses her individuality by copying everything her friend does. The most obvious reference point for HIGH SCHOOL USA! is the Archie comics; you've got Marsh (Vincent Kartheiser) as your bland ginger at the center of the action, you've got your Betty/Veronica thing going on with Amber and Cassandra (Mandy Moore), you've got your Jughead-ish nerd Blackstein and your Reggie-like BMOC Brad. Except here, instead of cruising around Riverdale and listening to good advice from good ol' Mom and Dad, these teenagers are binge eating, visiting secret pro-bullying clubs and learning mom is an amateur porn star.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what High School USA! is satirizing. Does the show take on subjects you often see on high-school shows such as Degrassi or 90210? How is the satirical take different from the straightforward one?

  • Is the viewer supposed to empathize with the characters on this show? What about the way they are presented brings you to this conclusion?

  • Do you know what it means to have a "token" representation of a certain type of character? Are Blackstein and Cassandra tokens? Why or why not?

TV details

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