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 Out There is an animated show following the adventures of two bored teenaged boys -- sort of a more grown-up Beavis and Butthead with some similarly crass and sexual humor. The boys often have romantic fantasies in which they're surrounded by girls in bikinis and underwear. They also discuss their sexual experiences, and attempt to have others by visiting a strip club, shoplifting nudie magazines, and trying to get closer to real girls. There are also references to drugs and a scene where a father smokes pot, and another adult drinks wine and smokes cigarettes. Many characters curse at each other: "Goddammit, get out of here!" and "Look at this s--t!"
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Chad is your average small-town teenaged boy. He has a mom and dad and little brother; he goes to a high school where he feels unimportant and ignored; he spends most of his time with similarly awkward best friend Chris, fantasizing about seeing girls naked or getting out of their podunk little town. A group of local bullies have it in for Chris and Chad and often make mincemeat out of the duo's grand plans. Meanwhile, Chris' mom has an annoying boyfriend who does card tricks and lays on the couch drinking wine, and Chad's parents worry about him too much and try to give him embarrassing guidance, such as talking about sex at the dinner table. Chad and Chris usually end up humiliated and de-pantsed whenever they try to do something amazing, but at least they have each other.
Is it any good?
In the grand tradition of shows and movies featuring teenaged boys (written, of course, by ex-teenaged boys), Chad and Chris are big losers, succeeding neither with girls or with their peers at school. But that only makes them more lovable to viewers, who will recall hatching big fantasies about revealing their love to a classmate and then escaping from school in a hot-air balloon.
Chris and Chad are more thoughtful than Beavis and Butt-Head, less coarse and more realistic than the buddies on South Park. Thus Out There will probably attract older and more thoughtful viewers, who served their time in high school and remember the "best years of their lives" sucking hard. Teens living out their own high school experience might find some humor in the show too, but with a casual approach to drugs, smoking, and language, some parents might want their teens to sit this one out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Are the characters on Out There realistic? Do they have adventures or express emotions that ring true to life, or are their antics exaggerated? What's the point of showing characters doing things that real life people wouldn't do?
Do you suppose Out There is written and directed by a man or a woman? What leads you to this conclusion? Do you know any animated shows centering around female characters instead of male? How are they different from Out There? How are they alike?
Why do many of the characters on Out There look more like animals or monsters than humans? Why would the show's makers choose to have unrealistic looking characters? What does that say about the characters themselves, or how they're viewed?
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