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Stroker and Hoop
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 Adult Swim series -- which parodies classic crime-solving shows like Starsky & Hutch -- has much stronger sexual innuendo, gun violence, and language (though the stronger words bleeped out) than its live-action inspirations/predecessors. In some scenes, cartoon blood pours out of wounds, and animated versions of popular celebrities are shot to death. Adults might appreciate the lampoon-like humor, but the series isn't intended for young viewers and is an iffy choice for teens.
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What's the story?
Animated parody STROKER AND HOOP chronicles the adventures of former mattress salesman John \"Stroker\" Stockmeyer (voiced by John Glaser) and struggling actor Hoop Schwartz (Timothy \"Speed\" Levitch), now a pair of incompetent private investigators who manage to bungle every case they get. Stroker is committed to fighting crime in order to sleep late, drive fast cars, and seduce beautiful women. He also likes to use his work as an excuse for neglecting his son Keith (Mary Birdsong). Meanwhile, Hoop just wants to get paid and move out of his mother's house so he can have a girlfriend. Together they attempt to solve cases with the help of C.A.R.R. (Paul Christie), a computer-operated hatchback that lacks intelligence, speed, and a sense of loyalty. Using their underdeveloped sleuthing skills, the two PIs follow the wrong leads, wear bad disguises, and shoot innocent people. Their friend/mechanic, Double-Wide (Curtis Armstrong), provides them with low-budget gadgets -- like a flying jet ski made out of duct-tape -- to help catch the bad guys. And when things go really wrong, Coroner Rick (Gary Anthony Williams) is there to help them hide their mistakes.
Is it any good?
This Adult Swim series is a parody of the "buddy cop" detective shows like Starsy & Hutch and Knight Rider that were popular in the '70s and '80s. But unlike those shows, this animated spoof includes strong sexual content, exaggerated gun violence, images of blood pouring out of bullet wounds, and lots of inappropriate language (though the strongest words are bleeped out). While adult fans may enjoy the way Stroker and Hoop pokes fun at some of their old favorites, it's not meant for younger viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the purpose of TV parodies. Are they intended to poke fun at their target shows and characters or honor them? Are there any larger social statements being made? Families can also discuss why classic TV shows are reinvented for new generations of viewers. Is it because they were so popular, or are producers just running out of new material?