Parents' Guide to

Special Unit 2

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

MIB copycat offers so-so horror comedy.

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Monsters are very real in this show's universe, but on Special Unit 2 they aren't very scary because it's more of a tongue-in-cheek comedy trying to mine laughs from the undead. Basically, the series is Men in Black, right down to the secret headquarters -- just with ghouls instead of aliens. The problem is that while Men in Black charmed audiences by taking pains to develop the characters of even minor alien extras, Special Unit 2 skimps. The detectives are funny but flat, and the show gives viewers little reason to root for them: We're left watching smart-aleck cops chasing down smart-aleck creatures, with only the tediously long explanations from the unit's in-house, smart-aleck expert to explain why we should care. Even the monster costumes look cheap, an unforgivable sin for a show that depends on these beasts to make it interesting.

One place where Special Unit 2 doesn't skimp is its props; someone did a great job creating the team's arsenal, which is full of elaborate tools of mayhem, each one bigger than the last. This, too, is straight from Men in Black, but the agents in that much-superior film also had a device that could erase people's memories. After a few episodes of Special Unit 2, you might be wishing you had one, too.

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