What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated series presents very strong, often-offensive stereotypes of people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. While all of it is presented in context, it may be difficult for tweens and some teens to clearly understand the social messages being presented. Parents should also know that the animated characters sometimes engage in sexual acts and use Spanish-language profanity.
What's the story?
Written and co-produced by Orlando Jones, THE ADVENTURES OF CHICO AND GUAPO originally appeared as a recurring segment on The Orlando Jones Show in 2003 on FX. Now a television series in its own right, this animated comedy features the exploits of Chico Bustello (voiced by Paul D'Acri) and Guapo Martinez (P.J. Pesci), two young inner-city Latino men trying to jump-start their careers as music producers by interning at a recording studio. In between escapades (none of which actually include working), they find time to watch TV and provide Beavis and Butt-Head-style commentary on everything from popular MTV shows to newscasts and cable-access programming. The ensemble cast also includes studio owner Mr. Angelo (Pesci again), studio receptionist Concepcion, Hank the producer (both voiced by Jones), and Cezar (D'Acri again), Chico's musically-gifted-but-personality-impaired cousin, who also works at the studio. Each character represents a specific racial or ethnic stereotype, some of which are unflattering to the point of offensiveness. That said, even though these extreme depictions of a diverse urban community are far from politically correct, they provide a forum in which people of all cultural backgrounds can look at themselves and at how others perceive them.
Is it any good?
The Adventures of Chico and Guapo is gritty and includes sexual innuendo, simulated sex acts, and mild profanity (the stronger profanity is in Spanish). It also offers some positive cultural references that reflect the characters' Latino culture, such as Chico's relationship with his grandmother and the pride Guapo takes in announcing that he's from the Dominican Republic. Sadly, these positive details are too easily overshadowed by the series' coarse humor and extreme stereotyping, which ultimately makes those negative stereotypes easier to accept.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about stereotypes and the importance of embracing diversity. What makes people seem different? Their skin color? Their accent? Their clothes? Why do we ascribe these differences to people of certain races and ethnicities? What do we miss by assuming people of a certain background will behave a certain way? What can we learn from each other? Families may also want to discuss the similarities they share with people from different cultures.