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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 Major Lazer is an adult-themed cartoon that presents drinking and drug use (mostly marijuana) in an appealing light. Characters, including teens, are shown smoking marijuana and getting high, which is meant for recreation and relaxation. Parties often are set in a strip club, and there's a lot of casual kissing, physical contact (including between same-sex partners), and some simulated sex with clothes on. Salty language is another concern; "bitch," "ass," "s--t," and "p---y," are common; "f--k" is edited. Expect a fair amount of violence with laser guns, knives, and other weapons. Clearly this isn't a show for kids or tweens, and even though some mature teens can handle its content, there's nothing of value for them here.
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What's the Story?
MAJOR LAZER is an animated series based on the reggae-inspired electronic music project of the same name. It centers on a larger-than-life superhero named Major Lazer (voiced by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who's the citizens' first line of defense in standing up to the cruel and domineering President Whitewall (J.K. Simmons) and General Rubbish (James Adomian) in a futuristic Jamaica. Along with Whitewall's daughter, Penny (Angela Trimbur), and her friend BLKMRKT (John Boyega), Major Lazer fights for justice against the nefarious forces of the government and anyone else who threatens individual freedom, particularly the freedom to party.
Is It Any Good?
This bizarre series presents a dystopian society that's dominated by clubbing, raves, and a thriving cannabis culture that encourages this party lifestyle. Its villains are so cast partly because they want to squelch the people's good time, the standout hero plots their upheaval (when he's not high as a kite himself, that is), and his compatriots are two teens who just want to party and smoke weed without fear of being caught. In other words, the line between right and wrong is hazy at best, and rooting for the hero doesn't always feel right.
That said, Major Lazer is geared toward a mature audience, so its viewers shouldn't have trouble realizing the irony in this convoluted plot and motley characters. There's nothing of real value in the story for teens, but if yours do watch, it can generate some discussion about issues such as legalized marijuana and individual rights vs. societal responsibility.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how this show presents marijuana (and other drug) use. Is there any positive quality to it? Have recent changes in the law altered how you feel about marijuana and its potential harm?
How much control should a governing body have over our personal and recreational choices? At what point do a person's individual rights infringe on those of a greater society? Does banning a product or practice truly eliminate the threats associated with it?
What, if any, message is this show trying to illustrate about the evolution of a future society? Can we take any lessons from the dystopia the show presents?
- Premiere date: October 27, 2014
- Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, J.K. Simmons, John Boyega
- Network: FXX
- Genre: Action
- Topics: Superheroes
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: January 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Brilliant, innovative comedy for mature viewers.
Engaging but controversial show for teens.
Family drama explores questions of ethics, espionage.
For kids who love edgy animation
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.See how we rate