Teenage Bounty Hunters

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Teenage Bounty Hunters TV Poster Image
Fresh, funny, female-centered comedy has violence, sex.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Themes of compassion, empathy, self-control stand out, with sympathies clearly on side of underdogs; authenticity and kindness. Violence is made light of with comedy, which may give some parents pause, may inspire family conversations about what might actually happen in real life if people, say, hit each other with canes or knock each other over the head with a gun. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Southerners and Christians are treated with dignity, respect. Sterling and Blair don't always obey rules set down by church, school, parents, but they take time to think about their actions, make sure they're kind, justifiable. Their faith is touchingly genuine, and they become better people over course of series. Other characters are less charitable -- e.g., April, who uses good deeds to brag and threatens to expose another character's private life. Iffy messages about women and sexuality: A sex worker is called a "whore," a man says that a girl wearing a brief top in a social media post with her boyfriend can't possibly be the love of his life. Cast has a couple of strong Black characters. Show talks frankly about race (e.g., Sterling and Blair can enter a club that doesn't accept Black members), but their school is curiously White, considering racial makeup of Atlanta, where show is set. 

Violence

Violence is cartoonish, played for laughs but can be more intense than expected in light comedy, such as when Sterling knocks a bail-jumper out by hitting him in the head with a gun, or when Blair jumps on top of a moving car. Crimes committed by bail-jumpers often have a comic aspect -- e.g., a woman is arrested for defacing Confederate statues. But in at least one case, a character commits a violent crime (beating up a sex worker) that doesn't feel funny.

Sex

Sexual content is frank, like show's opening scenes (Blair and Sterling having sex with their respective boyfriends in different cars) and discussion of condoms and a hand maneuver one girl uses to especially pleasure her partner. Couples have sex with rhythmic motions and moaning; no nudity. Expect same- and opposite-sex kissing, references to sex. When boys and girls have sex, the boys don't seem to do anything in particular to give their female partners pleasure, and the show doesn't make references to any expectation that they will. Sexual talk is joking but explicit, with references to "boning," "getting laid," being "slutty," doing "everything but," and more. Both male and female characters are shamed for having sex in a religious environment, which the show presents as wrong. 

Language

Language is frequent: "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "c--t," "goddammit." A lot of sexual words too: "horny," "slutty," "whore," "tramps," "boobs," "t-ts."

Consumerism

Brands are mentioned frequently: Chik-fil-A, gun manufacturers. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The TBH teens live pretty clean lives. Sterling and Blair are quite anti-smoking, and mention to a character they see buying cigarettes that they're unhealthy. They also say that smoking is gross. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Teenage Bounty Hunters is a comedy about Atlanta high schoolers who develop double lives as bounty hunters for hire. The show's tone is light and fun, and iffy stuff is played for laughs, but some content is more intense than the show's breezy vibe might suggest. Teens use violence to subdue bail-jumpers, including hitting someone in the head with a gun and knocking him unconscious, hitting another person with a cane in his midsection, jumping on a perp's car while it's moving, and more. The teens also use and brandish guns. There's no nudity, but sexual content is frank, including scenes in which characters have sex with rhythmic movements and moaning and talk about body parts ("boobs," "t-ts") and sexuality (being "horny," "boning," "getting laid"). Expect both same- and opposite-sex kissing, flirting, and dating. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "c--t," "goddammit," "slut," and "whore." A sex worker is beaten by a client. There are at least two prominent Black characters, but a high school is mostly White, which is unusual for a diverse city like Atlanta. Christian and Southern characters are treated with dignity and respect and not mocked for their accents, lifestyle, or faith. Themes of compassion, empathy, and self-control are evident, with characters growing and showing their kinder, more thoughtful sides as the show goes on. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMaddie1357 September 14, 2020

Fresh, funny, dope family vibes

I don’t really use Netflix except for 3 other shows now I have a fourth. Have not stopped watching sense it dropped teenage bounty hunters actually made me enjo... Continue reading
Adult Written byisabellamalibu September 5, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byMo247356 September 1, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byBecky tamero August 23, 2020

Hell yes! but only if you are a mature teen

although this show does talk about sex it opens you uup to an exciting story line. i think that if you have seen riverdale than this is your dtyle minus the sac... Continue reading

What's the story?

When they crash Daddy's truck into a bail-jumper during a desperate attempt to get home on time for curfew, fraternal twins Sterling (Maddie Phillips) and Blair (Anjelica Bette Fellini) fall into a new opportunity as TEENAGE BOUNTY HUNTERS. As grizzled bounty hunter Bowser Jenkins (Kadeem Hardison) tells them, they have an odd talent for the work, and since the two need cash to fix up the truck, they set to work sleuthing during the off-hours from their private Christian high school. This comedy was executive-produced by Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black, GLOW). 

Is it any good?

Engaging, goofy fun, this easygoing comedy coasts on its premise and the charm of its two leads, who are aces as sweet, sincere teens exploring their badass streaks. Another thing that Teenage Bounty Hunters gets very right is its setting. There aren't many shows anchored in a conservative Southern Christian world, and still fewer that treat Christianity and Christians with dignity and respect. Sure, there are prigs and bullies around, like Sterling's early-season arch rival, April (Devon Hales), who threatens to expose Sterling's non-abstinent love life to the school and ruin her reputation. But though both Sterling and Blair tote guns, batter criminals, lie to their parents, and get enthusiastically physical with their significant others, their faith is genuine, and they spend a significant amount of time discussing with each other what's the truly right thing to do when faced with a quandary, rather than falling back on easy answers. 

Teenage Bounty Hunters' Southern trappings are also spot-on. Whereas many movies and TV shows stereotype Southerners as yokels, this show is keyed into real life for a certain kind of Bible Belt living, with its lockups and bourbon, expensive hunting trucks, University of Georgia references (Go Dogs!), and everyone drinking out of Chik-fil-A cups. With that as a background, the fizzy chemistry between Phillips and Fellini, as well as between the pair and Hardison, is even more delightful. Teenage Bounty Hunters quickly settles into a perp-of-the-week groove, with longer arcs about the girls' school and home life and enough twists doled out regularly to keep things rolling along. It's lots of fun -- with an edgy streak that younger kids may not be ready for. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of characters who have some sort of secret life. Why do writers so often turn to these types of characters for material? Why is a person with serious problems a more compelling character than one with a calm, "normal" life? What dramatic or comedic possibilities do life's ordinary challenges hold? Are they enough to make a TV show interesting? 

  • Is some violent content better than other kinds in entertainment? Does it ever serve a valuable purpose? If so, what? In what other forms of media do you often witness violence? Is the violence in Teenage Bounty Hunters less shocking or disturbing because it comes accompanied by humor? 

  • Is the audience supposed to sympathize with Sterling and Blair? How can you tell? How are we supposed to regard their many transgressions? How are sympathetic characters presented, and how is that different from unsympathetic characters? 

  • How do Teenage Bounty Hunters' characters demonstrate compassionempathy, and self-control? Why are these important character strengths?

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