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 spin-off of Totally Spies! is a much more tolerable series than its predecessor, thanks mostly to the younger, more likable cast. There’s still plenty of cartoon-style violence -- lasers, freeze guns, and the like -- all of which lack any semblance of reality whatsoever. The hero squad consists of four siblings, so often there’s squabbling to spare, but when push comes to shove, they’ve always got each other’s backs. While it’s true that the show doesn’t tout any content of real value for kids, it’s similarly lacking anything glaringly offensive.
What's the story?
Siblings Lee (voiced by Andrew Sabiston), Tony, Megan, and Marc Clark are the newest generation of top-secret spies for the World Organization of Human Protection (WOOHP for short). Recruited by WOOHP founder Jerry and keeping cover at Southdale Junior High, the tweens leap into action whenever trouble strikes, tackling the bad guys with their collective brains, brawn, and arsenal of cool gadgets. When the mission’s over, they head back to class only to find that life in junior high is almost as treacherous as the life of a spy.
Is it any good?
THE AMAZING SPIEZ! is a spin-off of Totally Spies!, and some of the characters from the original series make appearances in this newer one, so there is an element of cross-advertising parents may take issue with. Violence is also a concern for sensitive kids, since it’s the only way the spies deal with conflict, but what does exist is fairly benign and tough to misinterpret as reality for cartoon-savvy grade-schoolers.
That said, this isn’t a show that sets out to equip kids with strong life lessons by any means. It’s all about adventure, action, and fun, and most of the content is forgettable at best. In the end, it’s a pretty safe choice for occasional viewing, but there are better options -- with better messages -- out there for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss sibling relationships. Kids: How do the Clarks’ relationship compare to that of you and your siblings'? What problems do they face with each other? What are some of the issues you and your brothers and sisters deal with? How do you get through them?
Kids: What kinds of cartoons do you like? Do any cartoons strive to reflect real life, or are they all rooted in fantasy? How does a show’s reality level affect how its content is perceived? Is violence more acceptable when it’s in a cartoon than when it’s in a live-action show? Why or why not?
This show is closely tied to another one (Totally Spies!) that’s more suited for slightly older viewers. Do the show’s character tie-ins make you more inclined to watch Totally Spies!? Why or why not? How does the media use subversive advertising to influence your viewing and consumption habits?
Themes & Topics
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