By Matt Springer,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Manic crime show parody is heavy on comic violence.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There is nothing serious about any of the action in the series; every opportunity is taken to play the mock-serious script for laughs. This means that there are almost no discernible messages to extract from the show, other than perhaps the power of effective parody.
Positive Role Models
All of the characters behave as the comedic circumstances of each scene dictates; this most often means they are acting as glorified buffoons.
Violence & Scariness
Many of the show's jokes are built around cartoonishly exaggerated violence, punctuated by flying body parts and buckets upon buckets of fake blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional sexual innuendo and suggestive dialogue.
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"Hell" and "damn" appear frequently; words like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Since the show is a parody of crime dramas, many of the plots revolve around drug-related plotlines, amplified for the sake of comedy. For example, one episode deals with a satirical version of the "Four Loko" beverage that combines alcohol and caffeine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this short-form comedy series is full of outlandish, graphic violence involving a great deal of blood and flying body parts. The show is a parody of crime show procedurals like CSI and Law & Order -- every moment is played for laughs and plot points are exaggerated for comic effect. Expect frequent mild language ("hell," "damn"), plus stronger bleeped words ("s--t" and "f--k").
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
NTSF:SD:SUV:: stands for National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle. If that doesn't give you an idea of what kind of show is being parodied, consider Trent Hauser (Paul Scheer), a maverick agent who spends each episode flipping off sunglasses and delivering clever one-liners. Every week, the NTSF:SD:SUV:: team has to solve some major crime and save the city of San Diego from certain corruption. It's a dead-on satire of the police procedural genre, pioneered by the Law & Order franchise, but today all over the dial, from CSI to NCIS and beyond.
Is It Any Good?
Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block continues to air some of the most edgy television on cable. NTSF:SD:SUV:: may not be the most provocative series they have to offer, but it definitely skirts the edge of good taste, especially when it comes to graphic violence. The show requires a firm dedication to a unique comic sensibility -- one that's manic, scattered, and more than a little tasteless at times.
Fans of cult comedies will find much to enjoy, from Paul Scheer's spot-on parody of such police show squares as David Caruso and Kiefer Sutherland to Kate Mulgrew's manic turn as an eyepatch-wearing division captain. The comedy is definitely best for older teens, and even then, parents should exercise discretion.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how violence and comedy mix. Is it easy or hard to laugh at jokes that involve violence?
Does this show make you view cop shows any differently? Why or why not? What is the purpose of parody?
- Premiere date: July 22, 2011
- Cast: Kate Mulgrew, Paul Scheer, Rebecca Romijn
- Network: Cartoon Network
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
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