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 this animated series definitely isn't meant for kids or tweens. It's full of sexual innuendo ("faking purrs," "kitty" porn, and the like), references to drinking and drug use, and tons of generally iffy behavior. The main characters prey on others' naivety to their own advantage, often tricking their friends into unpleasant and dangerous situations. Swearing, while on the mild side ("hell," "damn," etc.), is common. Bottom line? Don't let the show's affiliation with Disney (ABC Family is owned by the Mouse House) fool you -- nothing about this show is particularly family friendly.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The SLACKER CATS cartoon centers on the antics of feline friends Buckley (voiced by Harland Williams) and Eddie (Sinbad), who redefine laziness in the course of their nap-filled days. Between snooze and snack sessions, the cats patrol their neighborhood, always on the lookout for new and improved ways to take advantage of those around them. Buckley's owner, Louise (Nicole Sullivan) -- who bridges the species gap by chatting it up with the cats -- is a repeat victim of their schemes, whether it's an innocent fake purr to encourage more stroking or the credit card theft that funds their pricey vacation plans. Most susceptible to Eddie and Buckley's antics are paranoid Dooper (Emo Phillips) -- whose jitters center on hell rising up through the sidewalk cracks -- and pleading Tabitha (Kiersten Warren), who's so desperate for attention that she's been known to scrape up road kill for companionship. It doesn't take the guys much effort to coax either of them into uncomfortable (or stinky, as when Dooper donned a cat corpse to claim a monetary reward) situations for the dominant duo's pleasure.
Is it any good?
In general, the Disney conglomerate -- which includes ABC Family -- tends to keep its name (or at least its animated offerings) synonymous with squeaky-clean family programming. Slacker Cats is a glaring exception. If you're looking for positive lessons or values -- even a stray message about the power of friendship -- you're not going to find them here. In addition to the kitties' rampant bad behavior, there's some strongish language (mostly "hell" and "damn"), cartoon violence played for laughs, references to drinking and drug use, and obvious sexual innuendoes.
All in all, it's a poor choice for tweens and definitely not for kids. But adults and teens may get a few laughs from some of the same type of humor that's made shows like Family Guy and King of the Hill such favorites among older age groups.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cartoons aimed at older viewers. What does the animated format offer this audience that live-action doesn't? Why do teens and adults enjoy series like The Simpsons and King of the Hill? How do shows like these take a critical look at American life? Do you think viewers take away any messages from them, or are they strictly for laughs? Do you think these teen- and adult-oriented cartoons should be promoted on TV during times when younger kids are watching? Why or why not?