A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers see how scientific concepts help explain the facts and theories about mysterious and notable events as well as modern marvels. The characters often work as a team to develop theories and apply them to the questions they have about the subject matter.
Positive Role Models
Castanhari and Dr. Tay are skilled and knowledgeable, and they can apply the sciences to questions in an effort to answer them. Betinho exists more for comic relief, though he does fill the role of a sounding board for his friends’ theories.
Violence & Scariness
Depending on the subject matter, some episodes involve graphic images -- both illustrated and photographic -- of dead and decaying bodies, bloody murder scenes, gun use, and other violent content. Other episodes relate to violence within other species as well, as when insects fall victim to fungus that turns them into zombies, for instance. Even without visual aids, the host’s description of disasters that result in death are thorough enough for a clear mental picture.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Rarely "hell" and "sucks."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mystery Lab is a Brazilian educational series airing on Netflix with English subtitles. It's framed as a scripted sometimes-comedy show in which the cast teaches viewers the science behind events like the Great Plague and modern marvels like artificial intelligence. The show deals in real-world scenarios that push the boundaries of normal, and it doesn't shy away from the showing or the telling in full detail. Often it uses illustrations and animation to represent very gory or graphic images, such as zombies with body parts falling off, people dying of disease, or murder scenes spattered with blood. Expect occasional weapon use (a police officer draws a gun on a man, for instance) and partial nudity (a drawing of a man's naked backside is shown), plus mild language like "hell" and "sucks."
Is It Any Good?
For all of the campiness in this series (and there's a lot), the actual learning content is clear, concise, and presented exceptionally well. Castanhari alternates between talking directly to viewers and chatting it up with his coworkers -- Dr. Tay, the brilliant scientist; and Betinho, the resident over-reactor and asker of sophomoric questions. And when an even more practical explanation is required, Briggs is there to weigh in on the subject as well. The result is some occasionally corny acting but a wealth of really interesting and thorough scientific analyses of curious topics.
Mystery Lab's selectivity in subject matter goes far in enticing viewers as well. Rather than tackling vague and voluminous content topics like evolution or natural disasters, the show teaches those subjects as they relate to less dry, more enticing ones like a zombie apocalypse. It's this big-picture method of teaching that pairs well with the informal scripted structure of the characters' interactions. This bodes well for the show's teen viewers' interest level and keeps things a little more within the grasp of lay adult viewers as well.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.