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Legends of Chamberlain Heights
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents should know that Legends of Chamberlain Heights is an animated series about three benchwarmers on a school basketball team, but it's definitely not for kids. Bullying and violence are played for laughs: A white character is frequently slapped in the face when using the "N" word to refer to his African-American teammates; a senior member of a basketball team pulls his dirty jockstrap over the face of younger teammates. Lots of jokes about and many euphemisms for sex: "beating some cakes," "smashing that potato," "smashing va-jay-jay." A character has sex with a blow-up doll and then removes a condom. A husband buys a large vibrating penis for his wife. Expect very frequent unbleeped cursing: "goddamn," "s--t," "bitch" (aimed at female characters), with "f--k" and "motherf--kers" bleeped. A very young character sells drugs on the side of the road; the parent of one character buys and then gulps some type of pills. Freshman characters offer to bring drugs to a party, then attempt to beg, buy, and steal those drugs before making a new drug out of the dregs of their parents' medicine cabinets.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In their dreams, best friends Grover, Milk (both voiced by Josiah Johnson), and Jamal (Quinn Hawking) are LEGENDS OF CHAMBERLAIN HEIGHTS: powerful, famous, compelling, and champions on the basketball court. In real life, the trio are lowly benchwarmers on the Michael Clarke Duncan High basketball team, scheming to get court time, get into parties, get girls. Grover has a life-threatening crush on an older girl; Jamal has a secret relationship with a girl he's ashamed of claiming in public; and Milk's busy trying to deal with his suspicious stepfather and out-to-lunch mom. But when they team up, the (possible future) LEGENDS are unbeatable.
Is it any good?
Easily as profane as other adult animated series such as Archer and South Park, yet lacking the sharp wit and satire of those other series, this not-for-kids show is only fitfully funny. A series set on a high school basketball team and starring young African-American characters certainly sounds like it would lend welcome diversity to the small screen, and Legends' characters are lovable and amusing enough to win viewers over -- yet the way they talk about and treat the female characters on the show is a huge turnoff. Grover, Milk, and Jamal ogle their female classmates nonstop, predicting their chances of sex in the most vulgar terms, and viewing the young women mostly as interchangeable objects for male pleasure. A character with a large body type is particularly ill-treated: One character has sex with her and then urges her to keep it quiet, making jokes about her body as she stomps on- and offscreen as earthshaking noises fill the soundtrack. Plotlines about an attempt to engineer a party drug that gives its users diarrhea, and an elementary school character who sells drugs on the side of the road are no more appealing.
The voice-over work and some of the jokes do land -- quips about racial diversity on cereal boxes and racial profiling are sharp and fresh. But the humor is generally so unkind that many comedy fans will be wincing instead of laughing. There is an audience that will find this show funny, but parents would probably generally prefer their own kids not be among it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the satire that's buried beneath the series' crass jokes. What points are the creators trying to make? Does the show's over-the-top content detract from those points or help make them?
Who is this show designed to appeal to? Do you think the fact that it's animated gives it more "kid appeal" than a live-action version? Do you think people often assume that anything animated is OK for younger viewers?
Would you want to watch this show with your grandmother? What about a much younger brother or sister? Your mom? Your dad? Why, or why not?
For kids who love comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.