Mad Dogs

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Mad Dogs TV Poster Image
Dark, adult comedy about macho men in trouble is violent.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Masculinity, friendship, loyalty, and the consequences of life choices are explored, but the characters don't learn many lessons.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some friends aren’t as good as others; corrupt government causes problems.

Violence

Bloody shootings, chases, guns, threats, arguments, and the like.

Sex

Strong innuendo; sex scenes that include nudity; relationship issues, infidelity.

Language

Lots of cursing ("s--t," "f--k", and so on).

Consumerism

Local, nondescript alcohol labels.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking (beer, wine, hard liquor), some cigarette smoking. Drug trafficking a theme.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mad Dogs is an adult-oriented dark comedy that features lots of strong content. It's funny, but there are also lots of disturbing moments filled with bloody violence, cursing, and drinking. There's also some strong innuendo, including sex scenes and nudity. The concepts of masculinity, corruption, and other mature themes are featured in ways that are both humorous and unsettling.

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What's the story?

Based on the British drama Mad Dogs & Englishmen, MAD DOGS is a dark comedy about a group of 40-something men unexpectedly walking on the wild side. When college friends Cobi (Steve Zahn), Lex (Michael Imperioli), Gus (Romany Malco), and Joel (Ben Chaplin) visit their wealthy pal Milo (Billy Zane) in his remote, luxury ocean-side villa in Belize, they think they’re going to have a few days of fun-filled partying away from their mundane lives. But the visit takes a darker turn when Milo leads them into the middle of his business dealings with a local crime lord. Now trying to make it out of the situation, they learn a lot more about each other while revisiting their past. 

Is it any good?

This testosterone-driven series mixes humor and suspense to tell a dark story about men who are wrestling with their own middle-age angst while escaping from a vacation gone horribly wrong. Though it lacks some of the wit its British counterpart is known for, it's both written and performed in a way that pays homage to the original show while still appealing to stateside audiences. Meanwhile, the uncertainty surrounding their dire situation, which grows more complicated with every episode, only adds to the thrill.

The cast's attempts at macho-like behavior are both funny and disturbing as they try to prove their masculinity, sometimes unconsciously, to themselves and each other. But the best parts of the show are when they come together in moments of self-reflection, during which their past skeletons, personal insecurities, and other issues are discussed with both bitterness and humor. It isn't afraid to be simultaneously contentious and touchy and offers an adult-oriented viewing experience that's jocular and fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

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TV details

For kids who love dark comedy

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