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 this imported dramedy (which originally aired in its native Britain) contains frank and often shocking depictions of sexual and violent acts, with unbleeped swearing, nudity, and blood. The main characters -- all of whom are convicted delinquents with a chip on their shoulder -- commonly use words like "f--k," "s--t," and "c--t," along with more descriptive terms like "ball sack," "p---y," and "panty sniffer." They also drink and use illegal drugs like pot and cocaine.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When a strange electrical storm strikes down five delinquent young people who've been sentenced to community service in a fictional London borough, they awake to discover that they have powers they don't fully understand. But the odd gifts that make them MISFITS might come in handy when evil forces attack their town.
Is it any good?
It's easy to see why Misfits pulled in a BAFTA Television Award for Best Drama in its native Britain; and, thanks to Hulu, it will undoubtedly expand its fan base here in the United States. Because in spite of what you might feel as a parent about the show's uncensored swearing and graphic sex, it's a genuinely gripping series with a compelling story, well-penned characters, and undeniable cinematic style. The only catch is, it's not for kids.
Of course, an American adaptation of Misfits is reportedly in the works at ABC (starring Emily Osment and Jason Earles of Hannah Montana fame, no less). But as it's set to air on network television, you can rest assured that the U.S. version will be an entirely different kind of show. Depending on the outcome, who knows? Older kids might even get to watch it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about traditional heroes (such as Superman) and antiheroes (such as X-Men's Wolverine) in popular media. What's the appeal of each type? Can an antihero still be heroic in spite of his or her imperfections?
How do British programs compare to American fare? If this series were to be adapted for American TV, what elements would have to change (especially in terms of language and sexual content)? Would toning down the show's graphic elements make it any less entertaining?
Does hearing so much unbleeped swearing dilute the impact of the iffy words? Are the show's writers pushing the envelope when it comes to language, or are the characters merely a reflection of the way real people talk?