A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sketch comedy series -- which began its life on the Internet -- definitely isn't for young kids and tweens. Characters commonly use strong language (though the worst of it is bleeped), and sexual situations (simulated intercourse with a whale, a man shown naked with his genitals barely blocked from view, etc.) are played for humor. Violence, though meant to be funny, is often bloody: In one scene, a man is impaled with an axe, another's legs are broken with a shovel, and a third is shot by a crossbow. Older teens who can put the show's comedy style into context may enjoy it, but parents may want to check out the content first.
What's the story?
Sketch comedy series HUMAN GIANT began its life as a collection of short Internet clips but has morphed into a raucous MTV series that's sure to keep fans guessing about how far the stars will go for laughs. The show features recurring characters like the Shutterbugs, tough-talking (and often foul-mouthed) talent agents for child actors who struggle to relate to their young clients on a kid-friendly level. Also making their TV debut are Web favorites the Illuminators, who combine the thrill of David Blaine-style magic with the all-around strangeness of Criss Angel Mindfreak to shock and amaze their unsuspecting audiences. Other sketches draw laughs from quirky characters in extreme situations -- like one who summons an attack dog to garner sympathy in uncomfortable situations, or a one-woman moving service who uses her motherly instinct (and plenty of adrenaline) to move heavy furniture by first dropping it on her son.
Is it any good?
The show's irreverent but sharp wit is a credit to its talented stars -- Aziz Ansari, Paul Scheer, and Rob Huebel -- all of whom double as executive producers when they're not in front of the camera. Jason Woliner also produces and directs the show; guest stars like Linda Cardellini and Tony Hawk add to the fun. While Human Giant certainly isn't meant for kids or tweens, older teens and adults will find a lot to chuckle at.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lengths to which comedy goes for entertainment. How do comedians and actors use topics like sex, violence, and race relations for laughs? What are some examples of that in this show? Teens: Do you find this type of humor funny? Why or why not? Do you think anyone might be offended by it? Should there be limits on the kinds of mature content that can be shown on television? Who should have the right to decide what is and isn't appropriate for viewers?