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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Violence & Scariness
One character gets in a physical altercation with some neighborhood squirrels. He also tries to intimidate a wild coyote into leaving his owner's backyard.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual situations are often used as punchlines, including scenes with sexual activity either offscreen or masked by other objects.
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Mild language is present, including the words "crap," "bitch," and "ass." Animals are verbally nasty to each other frequently.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that HouseBroken is an animated comedy focused on group therapy sessions for pets led by Honey the poodle, who goes by "Dr. Honey" during sessions. Honey is joined by a cast of other pets in the neighborhood, including Chief the St. Bernard, Shel the tortoise, Diablo the terrier, Elsa the Corgi, and Tabitha the cat. As the group meets weekly, the animals talk through their humanistic mental health struggles. The show contains a good amount of gross body humor, sexual situations and punchlines, and language that includes "bitch" and "ass."
Is It Any Good?
The elements for a successful show are here in theory, but the overwhelming feeling is that there's nothing enthralling enough to keep viewers coming back for more. Though the HouseBroken characters are animals instead of people, they still fit into stereotypical archetypes that don't push boundaries. The punchlines seem to hang on the comedic premise that "animals are just like people!" which, though charming out of context, falls flat after being repeated so much in the show. Additionally, while characters like Honey have somewhere to go emotionally -- she proclaims early on that she's "passionate about working on herself...and peanut butter" -- others don't make a lot of sense. For instance, Chief is a lead character who is Honey's opposite, but that doesn't necessarily foster enough conflict to keep an entire show moving.
While character development or new elements of conflict can easily be written into later episodes, it seems there are too many elements that don't work to proclaim that HouseBroken is an easily salvageable show. Some jokes feel out-of-touch, particularly those from a Corgi character named Elsa. Her comedic premise is based on jokes about social justice, and her gripes more often read as punching down instead of using humor to make fun of those perpetuating the marginalization of many communities and identities. That being said, there are some genuinely entertaining moments when Honey and Chief interact with Jill, their owner. There's potential for this sitcom to find its footing, and it does have stellar voice acting, especially from Will Forte as Shel and Lisa Kudrow as Honey. However, as it currently stands, HouseBroken may not last long enough to work out all of its kinks.
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.