What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that teens will be attracted to the edginess of this comedy series based on a book by David Rosen, but its content is questionable for most of them, and its messages won't do them any favors. Pervasive sexuality among young adults spans from graphic conversations that touch on masturbation, "dry spells" between intercourse, and how sex improves a person's self-image to physical encounters that show couples undressing (to bras and underwear), making out, and getting in position for the act itself. Sex is viewed as a means to an end and in some cases enables manipulation. Expect lots of drinking and some drug use (marijuana, in most cases), often in conjunction with sexual hook-ups, and a hefty dose of language, only the strongest of which ("f--k") is bleeped. There's a strong tie-in to the show's music, which is featured on a website that's promoted throughout the show.
What's the story?
I JUST WANT MY PANTS BACK is a comedy series based on a novel of the same name by David Rosen; it tells the story of recent college grad Jason Strider (Peter Vack), who's drifting through his early 20s with little direction and even less ambition. Although hardly content at his entry-level job, he's in no hurry to hold himself to any lofty career goals, especially since doing so might interfere with his mediocre but carefree existence punctuated by partying and hooking up. Fortunately his best friend, Tina (Kim Shaw), is in his corner, and her ambiguity about life keeps him feeling secure in his own. The show's title refers to Jason's ongoing quest to reclaim his favorite pair of pants after his one-time sexual partner \"borrows\" them to get home after their night together, leaving him with a bogus phone number and thus no way to rectify his only regret from the encounter.
Is it any good?
Lovable loser Jason romanticizes a life of mediocrity almost like a younger, modern-day George Costanza. He's goofy and uninspired, yet he still manages to surround himself with loyal friends and get a little action here and there -- which, after all, seems to be his main priority. Jason's blasé approach to life is an appealing escape from reality that's best appreciated by adults who've harbored their own fantasies of casting fate to the wind (and really, who hasn't?) but who can also recognize that such a lifestyle has major drawbacks.
As for the younger crowd, not only does this series warp reality and disregard normal consequences for the characters' carefree lifestyle, it's laden with casual sexual content that's presented as normal -- and at times, commendable -- behavior for this age group. What's more, the fact that drinking and drug use likely contribute to the promiscuity apparently isn't worth addressing. While most of what they see and hear on this show isn't likely to surprise older teens who are well-versed in edgier selections, there aren't any positive messages here. But if they do tune in, at least you can use it as a jumping-off point for conversations about sexuality, responsibility, and positive lifestyle choices.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether this show is realistic. Can you identify with the characters' uncertainties and lack of ambition? Do you think their lifestyle reflects the reality of their employment status? What consequences might their lifestyle choices earn them in the real world?
Teens: Who's the target audience for this series? Do you think the content is appropriate for teens? What messages do the characters' alcohol use and sexuality send to teens? If it's not intended for them, do you think adults would be interested in it? Why or why not?
What constitutes a relationship? How do relationships typically progress among your peers? How much of a factor is sex in dating? Do you think the media affects how teens think about sex?