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Korgoth of Barbaria
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 animated action series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that resembles the Middle Ages both visually and behaviorally: Men barbarically and ruthlessly conquer their enemies, and women are subjugated. Each episode is chock full of bloody scenes involving limbs being chopped off (the characters rely on axes instead of guns). What's more, voluptuous, scantily clad women are shown being held captive and trying to tempt their tormentors. Bottom line? This is part of the Adult Swim line-up for good reason.
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What's the story?
In KORGOTH OF BARBARIA, the titular, axe-wielding warrior realizes he'll do anything to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Produced by Aaron Springer, the storyboard artist behind SpongeBob SquarePants, the series follows Korgoth (voiced by Diedrich Bader) as he tries to survive in the frozen north. Here, the cities have fallen, prehistoric beasts populate the wilderness, and thieves rule the dirty, barren towns. It is in this wild world that Korgoth will need all his guts and cunning to survive.
Is it any good?
Part of the Cartoon Network's late-night Adult Swim block, Korgoth of Barbaria, is billed as an animated fantasy-action-adventure-comedy modeled on Conan the Barbarian. It's definitely full of action -- Korgoth slays his enemies with brute force (he rips one foe's arm out of its socket, releasing rivers of blood, and hurls an axe at another). But it's irreverent, too; in one episode, when Korgoth and his band of men encounter a woman who's been taken against her will and tied to a tree, one of Korgoth's comrades asks her "What's your sign, baby?"
Despite some clever writing and well-executed animation, each episode comes with a super-sized serving of violence and a side order of misogynistic undertones. The bloodletting is particularly brutal and pervasive, and since there are no guns or out-of-this-world weapons in Korgoth's world, audiences might find the fight scenes more realistic than those in other animated series. The scenes in which women are held captive (in one episode, this happened twice) are also troublesome. Parents' best bet? Watch an episode or two before letting younger teens tune in, and keep Korgoth off the screen if young kids are watching.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way women are portrayed in cartoons -- both those aimed at kids and the more-mature variety. Why do so many 'toons feature women with unrealistic body proportions? What does this say about how our society sees women? Is the way that women are portrayed in the media, including in magazine spreads and advertising, harmful to girls' self-image? Are there any animated shows that have more realistic female characters?