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 Moonbeam City is an animated comedy series about irresponsible cops in a super stylized 1980s world. There's frequent violence, including shoot-outs, dead bodies shown at length and joked about, and a very gory stabbing through a character's head. Sex is a recurrent theme, including visual references to oral sex; the protagonist is a womanizer who has sex with many women. Scenes take place in a strip club, with visual references to lap dancing. Expect cursing, including vulgar insults ("fartbag") and curse words ("dick," "ass"); some curse words ("a--hole," "f--k") are bleeped. Women are called "bitch." Jokes about and references to drinking and drugs (such as cocaine) appear in the context of criminal cases.
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What's the story?
In neon-drenched MOONBEAM CITY, Dazzle Novak (Rob Lowe) is a loose-cannon detective who commits more crimes than the criminals he never quite manages to lock up. His tyrannical boss, Pizzaz Miller (Elizabeth Banks,) barks orders and sighs over his antics, but nothing can stop Dazzle from pursing cases -- except any decadent distraction he comes across. His chief rival Rad Cunningham (Will Forte) is always trying to get the upper hand too -- good thing Dazzle has Chrysalis Tate (Kate Mara) on his side to mop up any mess he might happen to make.
Is it any good?
Though the plot points are standard "crazy cop on a bender" antics you've seen before, the art direction in this animated series will leave '80s-style lovers gasping. Beautifully neon-shaded characters look like Nagel paintings (think Duran Duran's Rio cover), and those who lived through the 80s (or study its artifacts) will love spotting '80s-isms such as malls filled with frozen yogurt stores, 50-piece drum sets, and pants with enormous pleats.
The gags are decent enough too; the central conflict of Moonbeam City's pilot involves Dazzle's fury over losing his "#1 Cop" mug to rival Rad. If Archer makes you laugh, this probably will too; the jokes are a tad less sharp and a lot less dirty but fun enough.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Moonbeam City's visual style. Which era is it evoking? Which 1980s TV shows, artwork, or trends does it remind you of?
TV shows set in police departments with loose-cannon cops are a staple. Why? What dramatic or comedic possibilities do they offer?
Are animated shows usually aimed at children or adults? Are children more likely to want to watch an adult show that's animated? Why?
For kids who love animated comedy
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