Rocko's Modern Life

 
Modern and funny, but edgy content isn't for young kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show parodies many aspects of American society, exaggerating and poking fun at overconsumption, consumerism, and ill manners. Gross-out humor includes vomit, drool (a dog salivates into his water bowl and then drinks it), nose-picking, and excessive sweating.

Positive role models

Rocko means well and, to his credit, usually remains undaunted in the face of the tribulations he encounters. He always allows the good he sees in his friends to overshadow the bad. He's an anomaly in the show, though, as most of the people around him are victims to exaggerated negative qualities like gluttony, bad manners, ill temper, and laziness.

Violence

Exaggerated cartoon-style violence includes electrocution, broken bones, explosions, long falls, severed limbs, and, in some cases, flowing blood. None of the injuries have a lasting effect, though, and most are intended to be comical rather than scary.

Sex

Multiple instances of innuendo like an animal using binoculars to peek up fairies' skirts; a scene showing Rocko working at a sex hotline with a sign that says "Be hot, be naughty, and be courteous" behind him; episode titles like "Carnival Knowledge"; and a restaurant called the "Chokey Chicken," playing on a euphemism for masturbation.

Language

There's some name-calling ("idiot," "loser"), and "hell" is visible on a sign in at least one case.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some animated characters smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this is a cartoon, it's got a fair amount of hidden raciness that makes it iffy for tweens. Sexual innuendo is hard to miss in coy references to sensitive body parts and euphemisms like the "Chokey Chicken" restaurant, most of which will be recognizable to tweens' keen eyes and ears. Slapstick-style violence matches the show's surrealism (electrocution, death by vacuum). On the upside, though, Rocko's interactions with his motley crew of friends illustrate the meaning of friendship and promote tolerance. Teens and adults will grasp the humor in the show's satirical view of many aspects of American society as well as pick up on multiple pop-cultural references embedded in the dialogue.

What's the story?

ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE is a satirical cartoon about an Australian wallaby named Rocko (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui), who's trying to adapt to American life with the help of his buddies, Heffer (Tom Kenny) and Filburt (Mr. Lawrence). Between his grumpy neighbors and his obnoxious boss at the Kind of a Lot O' Comics shop, Rocko finds his new American peers to be a little unruly, but he manages to let their positive qualities overshadow their crazy ways. Each episode usually involves Rocko's efforts to undo the effects of some wacky predicament caused by Heffer's naivety or Filburt's neurosis...unless it's actually Rocko who's to blame for the day's crisis.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Rocko's Modern Life isn't your run-of-the-mill kids' cartoon, thanks to a fair amount of edgy content. True, most of the sexual innuendoes and euphemisms will sail over very young kids' heads, and the worst of them actually were censored during the show's original run, but the same isn't true for more worldly tweens, who will pick up on the grown-up humor. This certainly isn't the first cartoon to push the envelope on content, and its content isn't as ribald as, say, South Park, but the iffy stuff has enough of a presence to warrant some thought on your part. There is some merit to how the stories promote tolerance among its vastly different characters, but even that is often lost in the overall quirkiness.

That said, this is a very funny show that's bound to be appreciated by anyone who notices its pop-culture references and satirical commentary on American society mixed in with Rocko's absurd struggles that make for plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Allusions to TV shows like Star Trek, movies like Citizen Kane, and eateries like Kentucky Fried Chicken; poking fun at gross consumerism and the technological revolution; and, yes, those same hints at sexuality make for funny times when viewed through the eyes of a teen or adult.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship. What does this show have to say about friendship? What examples if positive relationships exist among characters? Why is it good to have friends who aren't exactly like you?

  • Tweens: Who do you think is this show's target audience? Did you find any of the content to be confusing or offensive? What is the purpose of creating an adult-oriented show that looks like it's meant for kids? Have you ever seen another show that referenced things you didn't understand?

  • What, if anything, are the show's creators attempting to say about American life? Do they portray any aspect of it as particularly bad, or are they just looking for laughs? Does seeing the world through Rocko's eyes change your impression of it? What can be gained by looking at things through another's perspective?

TV details

Cast:Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny
Network:Nicktoons
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Rocko's Modern Life was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous February 11, 2013
age 15+
 

A lot of Sexual Innuendo.

Sexual Innuendo is an issue because kids can get it and this show. I was 8 Year Old seeing this show. But this has a lot of Sexual Innuendo in it. This was really meant too be for adult. The company changes it too make it look like the show is for kids. Really not for kids at all. Not for people 15 & Under.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byRockoWallaby September 9, 2011
age 8+
 

Sexual Jokes Run Rampant

I recently bought season one of this show and having seen it, I can't believe that Nickelodeon got away with so much stuff we can't show in kid's cartoons today without at least (I think) a TV-PG rating. If any of you did your research, the recently released DVD is not "intact" as far as content goes. One scene in "The Good, the Bad, and the Wallaby" is completely removed as it showed, when it first aired and since has had this correction, Heffer experiencing pleasure with a milking machine. In "Skid Marks", the driving school that Rocko goes to has a watered-down video of a simulated car crash using tomatoes. The students cheer before the clip is shown and cry after the wreckage. In "Bedfellows", there is a short clip of a nudist colony formed in Rocko's backyard. What has been done is that every time the offending body parts might come into view, an object quickly blocks those parts. The censoring for nudity is a bit inconsistent. Rocko can be seen fully nude in a shower scene in one episode but then is censored in another after an animated censor spots the problem and puts a black box in front of the offending areas; at one point the box falls done when we see Rocko face-first.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old April 10, 2011
age 2+
 

Awesome for all ages!

BEST SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old September 9, 2010
age 12+
 

Funny show, but non-stop innuendos.

This is a brilliant children's show that appeals to adults too with it's cartoonish depictions of real life events that people go through, and they just twist it around to make it hilariously insane. The problems with this show are it's non-stop innuendos which includes scenes of a character mistakenly grabbing a bear's testicles, a scene of a character having an orgasm from a milking machine, an entire episode where a character tries to seduce another one, and tons more. On the plus side, the episodes have great messages and educates children too, a good example being an episode entirely about recycling.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages

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