By Matt Cabral,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Hilarious, mature Marvel comedy has sex, violence, chaos.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
M.O.D.O.K.'s mom offers him a pep talk after he's bullied as a child.
Positive Role Models
M.O.D.O.K. loves his family, but is generally pretty self-absorbed and evil.
Violence & Scariness
Despite being animated, M.O.D.O.K. contains plenty of violence, accompained by blood and gore. A character has his arm blasted off by a laser, while another has his head eaten by a grotesque, mutated creature. Animals, including bunnies, birds, and lab rats are hurt or killed in disturbing ways. There are also references to "torture," "chemical castration," and "suicide." The series' stop-motion animation style can lend the blood and gore an especially graphic look.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few references to M.O.D.O.K having sex. The words "horny," "penis," "condom," and "pregnant" are used. A joke involves a large mural of a naked M.O.D.O.K., with his private parts censored.
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"S--t," "bulls--t," "ass," "dumbass," "hell," "pissed," and the phrase "suck it." are used.
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Products & Purchases
Part of the larger Marvel universe, which inlcudes other TV series, films, video games, toys, and other merchandise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There's a reference to vaping, and glasses filled with wine appear in a restaurant.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. is a stop-motion animated comedy series about a comic book super-villain (voiced by Patton Oswalt) that's aimed at an adult audience. Most of the jokes are of a mature, sometimes sexual nature and include the words "sex," "penis," and "condom." A mural of a naked M.O.D.O.K., with his private parts censored, also appears. Strong language includes variations on "s--t" and "ass," as well as "hell," "pissed," and the phrase "suck it." Expect plenty of bloody violence, with characters' limbs being cut off, their heads getting eaten by monsters, and meeting other gory ends. A number of animals, including a bird, bunny, and lab rat, meet similarly graphic fates. While the series is animated, the stop-motion style actually makes the blood more pronounced. There's a reference to vaping, and glasses filled with wine appear in a restaurant. Other potentially sensitive topics include torture, suicide, divorce, and bullying.
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A Silly Good Time
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What's the Story?
MARVEL'S M.O.D.O.K. is an adult-aimed, stop-motion animated comedy series that has more in common with Family Guy or The Simpsons than anything in the iconic superhero universe. It stars Patton Oswalt as the titular super-villain, whose acronym stands for "Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing." Longtime Marvel fans aware of the character's dark, mysterious origins and world-dominating motives will want to check that knowledge at the door. While this new M.O.D.O.K. is still essentially a giant head in a hover chair with sinister plans to rule the planet, he's also a family man with troubled teenage kids and marital problems. When not dealing with his personal life -- or taking out the trash like the rest of us -- he faces a variety of mundane professional issues. On top of disgruntled employees, an irate coworker, and financial hardships ruining his day, his evil-doing corporation, Advance Idea Mechanics, has been acquired by an Apple-like tech giant. Sure, M.O.D.O.K. briefly trades blows with Iron Man (voiced by Jon Hamm,) but this is much more a mature family sitcom/workplace comedy hybrid than another Marvel superhero romp.
Is It Any Good?
Despite opening with the familiar, flipping-comic-book-pages Marvel logo, M.O.D.O.K. isn't like anything else in the iconic superhero universe. In fact, even if you believe the totally bizarre WandaVision may have prepared you for Marvel's potential to subvert expectations, well, you're still in for a big surprise. A mix of Robot Chicken-like stop-motion animation and the sort of adult-aimed humor that'll be familiar to Family Guy fans, M.O.D.O.K.'s a mature comedy that fires off the jokes faster than Iron Man can unleash a flurry of repulsor beams. Speaking of Tony Stark's alter ego, the Avenger does make an appearance here, but he's more interested in binging The Great British Bake Off -- streamed directly into his helmet, obviously -- than saving the world.
Of course, that's just one of about a billion blink-and-you'll-miss-it gags contained within a single 25-minute episode. Whether skewering the Marvel universe, silicon valley, internet influencers, or pop-culture in general, M.O.D.O.K. is consistently hilarious. The premise, which sees the titular evil genius dealing with everyday problems on both the home and work fronts, is largely responsible for the laughs. Unsurprisingly, watching the the self-absorbed baddie whine over his new boss transforming his torture chamber into a day care is far funnier than seeing him plot world domination. But even more than the humor that comes with flipping the script, it's Patton Oswalt's take on the character that truly makes the show click. Both his spot-on delivery and clear nerd-passion for playing the character combine to create one of Marvel's most memorable antagonists. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're a Marvel fan craving something completely different or an Oswalt stalwart looking for your next fix, M.O.D.O.K.'s the stop-motion super-villain comedy you've been waiting for.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about M.O.D.O.K.'s interpretation of the Marvel universe. How does the series present familiar characters, like Iron Man? Is it okay for such characters to be represented so differently for an older audience?
How does M.O.D.O.K.'s personality differ at work versus at home? How does he treat his employees and his family? Are there any parallels between the problems M.O.D.O.K.'s facing at home and at work?
Does the violence in M.O.D.O.K. make less of an impact because the series is animated? Do you view violence differently in a comedy series versus a drama series or action film? Is it okay to laugh at violence if it's in a comedy series?
- Premiere date: May 21, 2021
- Cast: Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm
- Network: Hulu
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Superheroes, Robots
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
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