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, like South Park, this animated political satire -- which is full of crude humor, sexual situations, and some cartoon violence -- is funny, but it definitely isn't meant for kids. What can you expect? Try Lil' Cheney tearing the heads off birds and sucking the blood from their throats, or former First Lady Barbara Bush appearing in sexy lingerie, spouting sexual innuendoes, and having sex with Lil' Cheney. Scenes set in Iraq include the young Bush and his pals wielding automatic weapons and killing people (though the cartoon blood in mostly reserved for animals, not humans). The political jokes are very sharp and don't pull any punches.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
LIL' BUSH: RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is an animated political satire that skewers President George W. Bush, his colleagues and family members, and a few Democrats for good measure. Its depiction of an elementary-school-aged Bush (voiced by Chris Parson) and his future cabinet -- Lil' Condi (Ann Villella), Lil' Cheney, and Lil' Rummy (Iggy Pop) -- is spot-on satire. While the president's fans might not appreciate the show's humor, those on the other side of the fence will giggle as Lil' Bush bumbles his way through Iraq looking for a Father's Day gift or tries to woo Lil' Laura at an anti-abortion rally. The comedy can get raunchy -- like when an incoherent Lil' Cheney gets so intimate with a negligee-clad Barbara Bush that he winds up inside her, necessitating an abortion. Folks from the \"other side\" make appearances, too. Lil' Bill (as in Clinton) is caught smooching the Lewinsky twins, and Lil' Hillary ends up comforting Lil' Condi when Lil' Bush rejects her advances.
Is it any good?
This tight, intentionally rude humor will surely attract a loyal following, and with voices by Pop and other musical celebrities (Lil' Bush and his crew like to "I-raq and roll"), a certain hipness is built in. Obviously, Lil' Bush isn't for younger kids, but parents might decide to let mature teens watch, despite the show's edginess. It might be just the entry ramp into politics -- whether Republican or Democratic -- that an otherwise-unmotivated teen needs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how media influences politics, and vice versa. How do you think the media views politics and politicians? How is that viewpoint conveyed, and how does it differ depending on who's offering an opinion? Do you think this show -- and the people behind it -- are staunchly anti-Republican? How do the show's criticisms of Bush and his crew compare to those of the Clintons? Do you think this type of humor would work if was aimed more directly at a Democratic target? What purpose does political humor play in society?