A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes of teamwork, courage, friendship are evident, but the tone is too light and mocking for them to really land. Gory violence detracts from messages, with the show more eager to provide violent spectacle than heartfelt messages.
Positive Role Models
Like all Star Trek iterations, this one boasts diversity in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, even species, with various aliens making appearances. Characters are often able to pull together to perform heroic actions to protect others; at other times, team members ignore their obligations and duties in service of plotlines or jokes.
Violence & Scariness
Sci-fi military-style action violence is plentiful, often bloody. In one episode, a space virus causes characters to turn into zombies that vomit black bile and bite/kill other crew members (all played for laughs). Jokes can be startlingly gory, like when an unnamed character is on a surgical table with his heart held above him by a medical crew member, with dangling veins and dripping blood. Lots of sci fi weaponry (laser guns, pulses of energy) and menacing alien creatures, like a giant spider-like monster.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are single and set up for romantic complications. Talk of romantic interest, flirting, kissing, dating. Jokes can be on the rude side, like when Ensign Mariner shows Ensign Tendi her holodeck "all-nude Olympic training facility," stocked with muscled naked men doing weight machines (we see their bare animated buttocks).
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Cursing is infrequent but "ass," "d--k," "bitch," "damn," and "hell" make appearances; "holy s--t" is bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking is played for laughs, like when Ensign Mariner has had too much Romulan whiskey and is silly and violent, accidentally injuring Boimler with a Klingon weapon.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated series set in the Star Trek universe that concentrates on lower-ranking Starfleet officers and their work. In classic Star Trek fashion, the cast is diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, even species, and all are urged to cooperate in order to get the important work of interstellar diplomacy done. Messages of courage and teamwork are evident, but emotion and positive messages are often framed by silly jokes. Violence is gorier than the show's tone might lead one to expect, with sci-fi weaponry, giant space monsters, and surprisingly intense sequences, like one in which an alien virus turns crew members into black-bile-vomiting zombies who tear each other apart with dripping blood and gore. Deaths and injuries are played for laughs, so they're less disturbing than they might be, and the worst violence is reserved for faceless characters. Characters are young and single; expect romantic complications, flirting, dating, and references to sex. One scene in which a female crewmember shows another her holodeck fantasy features brief glimpses of men's buttocks. Language is infrequent, but "ass," "d--k," "bitch," "damn," and "hell" are all heard; "holy s--t" is bleeped. There are also jokes about drinking, such as when a character drinks too much Romulan whiskey and gets sloppy and silly and then injures a co-worker.
Is It Any Good?
Mixing loving Trek fandom with light irreverence, this workplace comedy brings goofy fun to the franchise. Though it had a rough start, Lower Decks has settled into a rhythm that not only brings the comedy, but also some notable new sci-fi tales that span each season. And the fan service is in fine fettle. Within the first few minutes of the show, Ensign Mariner wields a Klingon bat'leth, which Next Generation fans will recognize from any Lt. Worf fighting scene; she refers to Spock as a guy who "fought Khan and some space-whales;" and first officer Commander Ransom (Jerry O'Connell) is given to ripping off his shirt, Kirk-like, before hand-to-hand combat.
The core crew, featuring the voice talents of Quaid, Newsome, Cordero, and Wells, form a fantastic quartet of characters, each with their own foibles and skill sets. As the Cerritos' redshirts (low-level workers who are often prone to quick deaths), each one is on their own path: sometimes to glory, other times to a goofy pratfall or Holodeck drama. Either way, we're here for it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.