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 Mike Tyson Mysteries is an animated series that's part of Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block and isn't meant for most teens. Expect crass references to sexuality, masturbation, and bestiality, plus a lot of drinking that acts as a crutch for one character's depressive moods. Violence sometimes leads to bloody death, and there's no filtering the characters' rampant strong language, of which only "f--k" is routinely edited. The show's bizarre plots do little more than invite jokes at the expense of celebrities and further Mike Tyson's fame.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MIKE TYSON MYSTERIES follows the animated alter ego of the controversial boxer (voiced by Tyson), here cast as a mystery-solving wanderer whose caseload includes missions such as flying to the moon and helping an accomplished novelist finish his latest book while simultaneously fending off a chupacabra. Mike's crack team of co-gumshoes consists of his adopted daughter, Yung Hee (Rachel Ramras); the Ghost of Marquess of Queensberry (Jim Rash); and the anthropomorphic, ex-human, alcoholic Pigeon (Norm Macdonald).
Is it any good?
This absurd show sounds like the end result of a stream-of-consciousness voice-over session with Tyson in charge and the supporting cast struggling to keep up with its helter-skelter changes of direction. To call it bizarre is a kindness; it's quirky and filled with twists but rarely in a good way. It also plays heavily on Tyson's lispy speech pattern and pronunciation challenges. As for the supposed mysteries promised by the title, they're flimsy, they lack direction, and they're rarely solved in the traditional sense of the word. In other words, if you like to follow a plot from beginning to reasonable end, you'll be sorely disappointed.
Of course, the series likely hangs its hopes on the simple curiosity factor of Tyson's involvement in an animated project, and there is a viable hook there. But even if you tune in to see how that plays out, you'll find he's easily overshadowed by Macdonald's hilarious interpretation of the caustic Pigeon, who accounts for much of the show's hard-fought humor. The bottom line? There are some laughs in this nonsensical series, but they can't make up for its glaring lack of basic entertainment value.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of cartoons meant for adult audiences. Does the fact that these characters are animated make the content more palatable than it would be in live action?
Is this show offensive? If so, in what ways? Can offensive content be funny? Where is the line between the two?
Why do you think Mike Tyson got involved in this project? Do you think it bolsters his résumé? Is it true that there's no such thing as bad press? How does society assign celebrity status?
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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.
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