Mongrels

Common Sense Media says

Raunchy British puppet sitcom is hilarious fare for adults.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show gives human characteristics to animal puppets and puts them in situations and conversations that would be pornographic or offensive if they were acted by humans. Not only is the content excessively sexual and fraught with red-letter language, it makes light of serious issues like rape, predatory sexual practices, prejudice, ethnic profiling, and low self-esteem. That said, when viewed with the proper lens of maturity, it's a hilarious example of sharp, satirical humor.
 

Positive role models

Each animal has glaring character flaws (excessive vanity, sociopathic tendencies, chronic stupidity) that make him or her generally unlikable. They manipulate each other's affections to get what they want, but in the context of the group, it's a fun kind of dysfunction. Nelson stands out as the only inoffensive one of the bunch.

Violence

Animal puppets are shot, tortured, and otherwise maimed on a regular basis, often landing them in the hospital with copious bandages and casts. Some of the implied violence suggests sexual crimes like rape or sodomy as well, all in a lighthearted tone that's meant to be laughed at.

Sex

If the characters weren't animal puppets, then this would be an X-rated show. In the average episode, there's mention of masturbation (sometimes it's implied that a character is in the act as well), doggie porn, "banging," and having a partner "give it to me as hard as you can." One memorable segment about lesbianism shows animals -– with breasts for the occasion -– hugging, kissing, fondling, and licking each other's breasts, followed by a sketch of a nun wearing a strap-on penis. In another, a female dog gets visibly excited when a male sniffs her anus because he "fell in love with her poop."

Language

Just about anything flies. Multiple uses of "f--k" are bleeped, but everything else is fair game: "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "hell," "Jesus Christ," "sucks," "t-t," and "damn." Name-calling is equally harsh: "c--khead," "c--kbrain," "bastard," and "prick" are heard a lot. None of the language is threatening, and it contributes to the mature sense of humor that marks the show, but there is a lot of it.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Catnip overdoses are recurring jokes, and the dialogue promotes unsavory lifestyles like smoking, drinking, and doing drugs, though its intended adult audience will see only the humor in this content.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Mongrels is a puppet sitcom, this is not a show for kids. It carries a mature TV rating for good reason, leaning heavily on jokes rooted in sexuality (including allusions to rape and masturbation, and graphic physical contact like licking a puppeted partner's breasts) and excessive swearing ("f--k" is edited, but "s--t," "bitch," "c--khead," "ass," and plenty more of the like are audible) for humor. No subject is sacred to this show's writers, who routinely tap touchy topics like prejudice, body image, nontraditional sexual relationships, and even ethnic profiling for laughs. Adults can take the over-the-top content in stride, but it may not have such a benign effect on teens since the puppets' appearances make it easier to gloss over the severity of these issues on a real-life playing field.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

MONGRELS is a British puppet comedy situated around a group of animals hanging out behind a London pub. At center is Nelson (voiced by Rufus Jones), a hip, well-meaning fox harboring a crush on his beautiful, but self-absorbed neighbor, Destiny (Lucy Montgomery). When Nelson's not hanging on Destiny's every word, his moronic feline friend, Marion (Dan Tetsell), usually is hanging on his, fancying Nelson to be something of a role model. Rounding out the group are Vince (Paul Kaye), Nelson's corrupt older brother, and Kali (Katy Brand), the tattered, scheming neighborhood pigeon who lives to exact her own brand of justice.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

That Mongrels is prefaced by a viewer discretion warning is initially a surprise, given that the characters are puppets, but spend a few minutes among the Mongrels and it immediately becomes clear why that's the case. They're foul-mouthed and sexually motivated, prone to violence and unabashed about saying whatever occurs to them, which means you're going to hear –- and see –- a lot about "banging," drug use (typically in the form of catnip overdoses), and prejudice among different species. You'll also learn why beautiful people (er, dogs) are better than ugly ones, why consensual sex shouldn't have a minimum age requirement, and why anti-drug and anti-smoking campaigns give good habits a bad name. In other words, just about every one of the show's scenarios flies in the face of the life lessons you hope hit home with your kids.
 
So what's the point of cramming so much mature humor into a show littered with puppets? The truth is that Mongrels isn't out to really offend anyone, and its outrageous satirical humor really is very funny, especially at the hands of these unique characters. There's less guilt in chuckling over the blasphemous content delivered by puppets than there would be with real people on the screen in identical situations. Plus, letting these hot-button issues (like the assumption that a would-be terrorist is Muslim, for instance) play out in the context of this show shares insight into their existence in the real world, giving the audience something to ponder at its end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this show’s comedy style. What is the purpose of using puppets instead of animation or a live-action cast? How does it contribute to or detract from the show's humor?

  • What groups of people likely would find this show offensive? Are their feelings warranted by what you see here? Who decides where to draw the line on this brand of comedy?

  • What is this show's attitude toward issues like homosexuality and racism? Are the writers intending to say something about these issues? How does their stance compare to yours?

TV details

Cast:Katy Brand, Paul Kaye, Rufus Jones
Network:Hulu
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Misfits and underdogs, Puppets
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Mongrels was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old September 3, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Oh, a TV-MA puppet sitcom! Let me write a bad review of it in anger!

There is no reason why Hulu created this puppet sitcom! It looks like the Muppets, but only with dogs and cats and much darker and violent! Jim Henson would not accept this if he was still living!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byDarksouls444 September 7, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Ive never seen it but it looks like a really fun ride!

I have never seen this because I don't have hulu but just from reading the review it sounds extremely morbid and funny.

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