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 Mr. Pickles is a vulgar, violent cartoon that's part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup and isn't appropriate for most teens. It centers on a family dog with a murderous streak, and many instances show him reveling in killing and mutilating people in violent and detailed fashion. Sexual content leaves little to the imagination; fetish orgies (men and women in masochistic costumes, some tied up and others being whipped, for instance), simulated intercourse, suggested masturbation, and lap dances are common fare. Expect some strong language ("damn," "hell," and "ass," for starters) and a parade of increasingly unappealing characters to round out this over-the-top cartoon.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MR. PICKLES follows the antics of a family dog with devilish designs on the people around him, except perhaps his 6-year-old owner, Tommy (voiced by Kaitlyn Robrock). At first glance, life in the Goodman house seems pretty average, particularly when it comes to Tommy and his best friend, Mr. Pickles, with whom he gets into plenty of curious situations. But what Tommy -- and most everyone else -- doesn't realize is that his happy-go-lucky border collie is actually a satanic murderer. Only Tommy's grandfather (Frank Collison) sees the truth, but since no one takes him at his word, the cultish canine's secret is safe for now.
Is it any good?
This ribald cartoon gets away with a lot of content that would be seen in an entirely different light if it were a live-action presentation. Although it does draw the line at showing full nudity, pretty much everything else gets a green light, and the result is excessive mature content that seems designed to reel in viewers on shock value alone. And shock you it will.
Obviously Mr. Pickles won't do teens any favors, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any positive messages in content that mocks nonconforming body types and abilities. Even so, its egregious stereotypes, over-the-top cartoon violence, and explicit humor is bound to entice some curious adult viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in entertainment. Is content such as what's seen on this show ever warranted? What is its purpose here? How is the effect different from what it would be in the hands of a live-action cast?
How are physical and mental disabilities portrayed in this show? Is it OK to laugh at stereotypes like these when they're generalities and not aimed at a particular person?
What do you think was the creator's intent with this show? Who is the target audience? Does its content match that of other Adult Swim offerings?
Themes & Topics
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