A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Traditions, celebrations, and dancing surrounding the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
Friendship is valuable. Friends take care of each other. Don't worry about what the world wants from you. Ask yourself: "What do you want?"
Centering around two young Indian-American women in Chicago, this show has representation ranging from very traditional Indian community members to young women who roll their eyes at things that are "too Indian," to the over-the-top hippies (about whom a character asks: "Can Indians appropriate their own culture?"). Different ages and backgrounds of people are represented as well.
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Violence & Scariness
Weapons are brandished and the threat of violence is made, but it's cartoonish violence that the female characters manage to escape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Conversations are had about "vaginaplasty," and avoiding a loose vagina. Sex toys are shown, graphically listed, and joked about. Body parts and sexual acts are talked about in crude ways ("Me and my c--t are good.") No sex is shown, but couples fondle and talk about sex.
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Frequent use of "damn," "hell," "ass," "s--t," "whore," "dick," "bitch," "Jesus." F-word is bleeped. Explicit use of body-part descriptions when talking about sex toys.
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Products & Purchases
Northwestern University, Shawn Mendes, Tik Tok, Google, Gucci, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany, iPhone, CK1, Lord of the Rings
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol is used in excess (shot after shot after shot) by main characters when they are under stress. They get wild and can't remember what they did the night before. Characters smoke hash and hallucinate. Characters brag about how much marijuana they have smoked over years (one character calls the other "The Queen of Kush").
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hot Mess Holiday is a bawdy, raucous comedy about two Indian-American twenty-something besties are unwittingly pulled into a diamond heist. Expect drinking to excess, some drug use, frequent use of language ("s--t," "ass," "dick," "bitch"), and explicit talk about sex toys and body parts.
Is It Any Good?
Though there are break out moments in Hot Mess Holiday, most of the funny beats don't have the flow that more subtle performances boast (see: Insecure). Some heartwarming inside jokes are worth a laugh (a spelling bee champion has nerd street-cred among young Indian-American kids who bug him for a selfie), and the cultural family ties-that-bind provide a fun tension for these modern Indian-American women. But the writing feels heavy-handed at times, and the drinking feels a little obligatory.
That said, it's great to see Diwali getting some screen time between the Judeo-Christian holiday programming. Though this show doesn't have the legs to break barriers, it is a festive and fun attempt. It's too edgy for younger teens, but older teens will get a kick out of the friendship themes. Adults might smile at some of the over-the-top spoofs (Ravi Patel kills as a hippie), and the solid representation of Indian-American culture is a welcome holiday treat.
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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