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 Tarantula is an adult-oriented animated series that features lots of crude sexual humor, fantasy violence (ranging from bloody images to tasing), and irresponsible (and sometimes illegal) behaviors. There's also some stereotypical characters used for comedy. The word "s--t" is frequently used, and drinking and smoking are common.
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What's the story?
Created by Silicon Valley writer Carson Mell, TARANTULA is an adult-oriented animated series about Echo Johnson (voiced by Mell), an articulate, uncertified tattoo artist living at the Tierra Chula Resident Hotel, aka Tarantula. Along with the other eclectic residents, he engages in all sorts of activities, ranging from secretly picking his landlord’s avocados to leading a team rescue of his dog from alleged government operatives. Every day is an adventure as Echo makes his way through life, one poetic thought at a time.
Is it any good?
This irreverent show, which was originally a web series, features lots of lighthearted humor as viewers follow the characters through their daily lives in a colorful working-class environment. But outside of Echo's unique (and often surreal) take on life, many of the characters in Tarantula seem like reincarnations of caricatures we've seen many times before, including the lower-class, inelegant woman, the barfly, and the Latino thug.
The reliance on these common tropes may create some laughs, but the overall series isn't smart enough to make a larger point when incorporating them into the narrative. Nonetheless, fans of the web version, and audiences who like this sort of thing, will probably find humor in it. But those looking for something original probably won't find it here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons stereotypes are used to create humor. Is Tarantula trying to make a point? Or is it just trying to get a laugh?
What are the challenges when adapting a web series to TV? What kind of challenges did the creators of Tarantula face when doing so?