A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
Viewers see a teen who's smart and crafty, who defies social expectations, and who quickly adapts to different situations. The message is clear: Be comfortable with who you are, and try your best in everything you do. Sharing a secret brings family members closer together, but a lot of jokes are aimed at K.C.'s brother for being less successful than she is. Other teens are less grounded than K.C., which makes them seem vain and frivolous.
Positive Role Models
K.C. shirks popularity for good grades, excellence in karate, and her future goals, but she does share a strong friendship with Marisa in spite of their very different personalities. Parents lead their kids by example but also show favoritism toward one, which is played for laughs. Bad guys are easily duped and overpowered.
Violence & Scariness
Spy gadgets such as laser-gun lipstick, aerosol that puts people to sleep for hours, and stilettos whose heels double as throwing weapons. Punching and kicking in some close-range exchanges, but no lasting injuries.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild sexual innuendo between adults, as when married partners kiss and share a knowing glance that hints at more. Teens flirt, and guys occasionally go shirtless.
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Products & Purchases
The show's theme song is performed by Zendaya and is available for download.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that K.C. Undercover stars Disney megastar Zendaya as a newcomer to her parents' world of secret spy work, so kids who already know her talents will want to check out these new adventures. There's some karate-style fighting plus gadgets such as a laser-gun lipstick tube and high heels that disassemble into throwing weapons, but injuries typically aren't visible. Body humor (farts, mostly), bare chests on teen guys (thanks to X-ray glasses, of course), and some mild social meanness are in play. K.C.'s family is very close, but they sometimes poke fun at her younger brother because he doesn't live up to his older sister's success. Because she leads a double life, K.C. frequently lies to her best friend to keep their secret safe.
Is It Any Good?
Disney multitalented Zendaya lends her considerable skills to the somewhat underachieving spy-comedy series K.C. UNDERCOVER. The plot is hardly a new concept, and the show's 30-minute time frame limits the stories' complexity, making the action -- and the jokes -- predictable for all but very young viewers. There are some funny moments as K.C. assumes different personas on the job or when she tries out some of the cool gadgets she gets to use, but these are bright spots in an otherwise anticlimactic show.
That said, there's nothing inherently bad about K.C. Undercover's content, and even the action sequences aren't likely to worry kids, so it's a safe choice for those making the move from animated shows to "big kid" comedies. Those who do watch will find a lot to admire in K.C., who's both book- and street-smart, a critical thinker, and always graceful under pressure. The fact that she's close to her family is another positive quality. Your family's shared hobby might not be saving the world, but it's a good reminder of the value of finding common ground and spending quality time together.
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.