A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Parodies the weird and outlandish behavior of a variety of society's misfits; the satire may fly over the head of younger viewers and is often mean-spirited.
Positive Role Models
With exception of sweet, guileless Becky, who is being touted as the "heart of the show" (even though her physical differences also mean she's frequently treated as a punchline), most of Lilley's characters are delusional, obnoxious, or just plain gross.
Violence & Scariness
Some characters are bullied, though it's more verbal than physical in nature.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Frequent crude sexual references: 12-year-old Gavin is constantly talking about his penis and girls he wants to sleep with. One character is a past-her-prime porn star who treats her porch railings like a stripper pole. Shots of Lilley's head grafted onto nude women's bodies. Clothing shop owner Keith names his business "MY D!CK" and is in a sexual relationship with a cash register. Pet psychic Jana likes to get naked with her clients, is shown laying on a blanket in the nude (shot from behind). A character urinates into his own mouth as a gag for the internet.
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Strong language is uncensored and used frequently. Audible words include "motherf----r," "s--t," "p---y," and "c--t," among other combinations.
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Products & Purchases
Gavin talks a lot about Instagram, and drinks a 2-liter of Coke every night in bed. A character seeks YouTube stardom.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Very occasional drinking and smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lunatics is the latest comedy series from controversial yet popular Australian satirist Chris Lilley (Jonah from Tonga, Summer Heights High). Lilley is known for his edgy, improvisational style, and viewers can expect a ton of crude language and sexual references. He's also received criticism for his use of racial stereotypes (one of his past series was pulled from the air over his use of blackface). Some critics have raised eyebrows about the appearance of one of the characters in this series as well -- a South African pet psychic who sports deeply tanned skin and a giant Afro hairdo -- though the show's official stance is that she's white. There are bits of brief nudity, a great deal of profanity, and some bullying behavior in this edgy series.
Is It Any Good?
When Chris Lilley's new show debuted, social media exploded with angry jabs at its purported offensiveness and racially insensitive overtones -- and a nuanced take on society's misfits it ain't. Comedy can and should push the envelope, but far too often Lunatics veers past "edgy" and into "just cruel" in a way that's just lazy. People's disabilities and deformities are frequently made into punchlines, and there's a mind-numbing repetition to a lot of the toilet humor that makes the 40-minute episodes feel like an absolute slog.
There's also something just plain uncomfortable about seeing 44-year-old Lilley -- made up as 12-year-old wannabe player Gavin -- acting like an aggressive and relentless sex pest toward preteen girls. Outsized and outraged initial reactions aside, the most damning thing about Lunatics might just be how flat a lot of its humor falls, though Lilley superfans may feel differently.
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.
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