Testees

Common Sense Media says

Gross-out comedy makes light of medical testing.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The environment at Testico, where the testees are employed evaluating experimental drugs, is very hierarchical. The doctors seem to have little compassion for their test subjects and blithely ignore any discomfort, either when the medicine is administered or from the subsequent side-effects. The subjects routinely suffer a broad range of unpleasant side-effects -- indeed, that's the point of the show. The show doesn't explicitly address class implications, but the testees are young, underemployed slackers who seem willing (though often somewhat reluctantly) to rent their bodies to the medical industry in exchange for easy money. Some scenes are extremely demeaning. One man forces others to lick his feet when they're groveling for jobs. A woman forces a man to wear a bag on his head when they have sex, suggesting she only wants to sleep with him because of his medically enhanced, extremely large penis.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Some sex, with people shown under the covers in bed. No nudity during the sex scenes. But the testees are shown partially clothed during some medical procedures; there are brief glimpses of their backsides when experimental drugs are inserted into their rectums, along with some discussion about the nature of the procedure. Lots of talk about sex, including rather explicit discussions of genitalia. One character tests a "penis enlargement spray" and frequently discusses the results. He also flashes a female character, and they excitedly discuss his newfound endowment. Another character is shown urinating, with the stream flowing all over the bathroom.

Language

Some salty language, including "screw you," "wieners," "schlongs," and "wanking" (accompanied by hand gestures); when a couple is in bed, they talk about "going down" on a woman and "coming." The name of the show, Testees, and the company where the characters work, Testico, are both intentionally suggestive.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The whole premise of this show revolves around taking experimental drugs, though there's no recreational drug use. Characters often drink at home or in bars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this crass sitcom depends heavily on bodily functions for humor. The main characters make their living testing experimental drugs, which cause a broad range of unusual side effects (extreme flatulence, penis enlargement, male lactation, and more), and their discomfort is played for laughs. There's a fair amount of sex -- and even more discussion about sex, genitalia, and bodily functions, with some salty language. There are brief flashes of nudity during some of the medical procedures, and some scenes show people going to the bathroom. In addition to taking lots of experimental drugs, characters are often shown drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

TESTEES, a raunchy comedy about two slackers who make their living testing experimental drugs, makes its intentions obvious from the start. Just say the name of the series out loud. Still not clear? Well, the company that pays Peter (Steve Markle) and Ron (Jeff Kassel) to endure a comic string of unusual side effects is named Testico, so it should be apparent to any viewer that they're in for plenty of jokes, some less funny than others, about bodily functions, usually featuring some kind of sexual angle.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A series focused on medical experiments would have to stretch to reach beyond the obvious, simple humor found in absurd side effects and physical discomfort. Testees, executive produced by South Park writer Kenny Hotz (who also created the vile Kenny vs. Spenny), doesn't even try. The show mines its jokes from placing its test subjects in the most unpleasant, unusual bodily distress that the writers can devise -- including male lactation, extreme flatulence, and enormously swollen genitals -- and then seeing how much they can actually get away with showing on camera.

There's plenty of gross-out humor, which sometimes crosses the fine line between lowbrow funny and simply offensive; the factor that pushes many of the jokes over the edge is their emphasis on humiliation. It's not enough that the characters must suffer; their corporate masters at Testico seem to relish demeaning them by, say, skimping on the lubricating jelly when inserting a test drug or by forcing them to grovel for the privilege of abusing themselves. If it sounds like they're selling their bodies, well that's how it looks, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's style of "gross-out" humor. What's the appeal of this style of comedy? Who do you think the target audience is? Families can also discuss medical experiments. Drug companies need to test their products before they can be sold, but does this show seem like a realistic portrayal of the doctor-patient relationship? Do the featured side effects appear plausible? Would you be willing to try experimental drugs for money? Even for a lot of money?

TV details

Cast:Jeff Kassel, Kenny Hotz, Steve Markle
Network:FX
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-MA

This review of Testees was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byThe JP Show May 25, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Seriously???????

Why rate it TV-MA and now a two year old can watch. Not after the S jokes. The network takes out content and rate it TV-Y or CSM gives the show a new rating. I could rate it TV-PG-DLS if I had a network. Something new for two year olds. How about Common sense and put the age of child exposure iffy while the teenagers appropite. Blackwhite should have the rating Testess have right now. One thing is Testees is not violent. Is FX going to rate one episode TV-MA-LSV and V is for slapstick. The Promo is rated TV-MA-LSV. "Nachos" is a bad and gross term in the show. No way it's for kids. Message(OFF) V(NONE) S(OFF) L(IFFY). Too much innuendo for 2 year olds. You will probably get the jokes at age fourteen. If it's rated TV-MA,it's rated 15+ or older. If it's rated TV-Y,you can keep the rating.Is it rated TV-Y or TV-MA. Are you going to listen to Common sense or me on this one
Educator and Parent of a 10 year old Written bywillowfaierie April 22, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Worse than Jackass.

What did they do to create this monstrosity?!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bycheacky3 July 17, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Is this some sort of joke?

You think that this is just some sick joke? You put 16+ and then put appropiate for all. When I saw this, I lost my mind. Like I would let a two year old watch this. Dear Common Sense Media, YOU HAVE REALLY LOST IT!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide