The Awesomes

 
Seth Meyers' funny superhero 'toon will delight grown-ups.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

For all its quirkiness, this is a fairly compelling underdog tale centered on a team of presumed nobodies who find an unlikely companionship with each other. Despite their individual shortcomings, they're devoted to the superhero cause and work better together than they do apart. On the downside, there's some canned racial stereotyping in African-American and Asian characters as well as name-calling like "stupid" and "fat."

Positive role models

Prock chooses to own up to his fears and inferiority complex when he takes the helm of the Awesomes, and he affirms his choice each time he faces a villain rather than fleeing the scene. All of the heroes have flaws, but they're committed to the team's work.

Violence

Typical superhero-style face-offs with guns, explosions, fistfights, and fires that turn people into piles of ash. In one scene, a man dies of a heart attack; in another, blood seeps from an ambulance that's been crushed (along with its passenger, it's assumed). The violence isn't gratuitous or excessive, though.

Sex

There's more innuendo than physical contact, but the presence of female superheroes encourages banter that references a woman's butt and makes it clear that guys are thinking about her in a sexual manner. 

Language

You'll hear "hell," "ass," "bastard," and "Oh my God." "F--" and "s--t" are easy to recognize despite editing.

Consumerism

Show sponsor Jack Links Beef Jerky is featured in the show and in short commercials starring the characters before and after each episode on Hulu.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Awesomes is an adult-oriented cartoon that's fraught with strong language and sexual undertones. Men contemplate women's genitalia and check out their butts and breasts, though most of the dialogue is suggestive rather than explicit. There's also some racial stereotyping evident in the speech and mannerisms of African-American and Asian characters. That said, because the show is intended for an older audience, adults will put the content in context and enjoy the series' funny spin on classic superhero stories and the coming of age of the story's underdog protagonist.

Parents say

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What's the story?

THE AWESOMES opens with the retirement of Mr. Awesome (voiced by Steve Higgins), the longtime leader of a team of elite superheroes. His departure opens the door for his less-than-awesome son, Prock (Seth Meyers), to take over the job, but Prock's incompetent track record sends the top-notch heroes fleeing the scene. Determined to prove himself and to return the Awesomes to their former glory, Prock and his sidekick, Muscleman (Ike Barinholtz), set out to recruit the next best team, but what they get is a group of B-listers with quirky personalities and some serious shortcomings. Can this team of misfits get it together enough to take on the likes of Dr. Malocchio (Bill Hader) and the city's other scheming villains?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Created by comic pros Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker, The Awesomes is a superhero cartoon you'll want to keep to yourself rather than sharing with your kids, thanks to the frequent strong language and suggestive sexiness between the guys and gals. But what this mature content does is ensure a viewer pool that will most fully appreciate the show's brand of comedy at the hands of funny man Meyers, whose animated alter ego stars as the unlikely heroes' hero, Prock.

But The Awesomes is more than just a laughable spoof of classics like Super Friends populated by offbeat characters with little in common. It's also to some degree a story about destiny and courage and a lesson in that oft-quoted relationship between the whole and the sum of its parts. Not that this is what grown-ups are looking for from their time spent with a cartoon, but it is a nice bonus in an all-around enjoyable series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of a cartoon intended for adults. Would this series have worked as well in live-action? What qualities does animation allow that suit this story?

  • Teens: Was this show's content excessive for your age group? Have you seen/heard worse? Does this kind of content make you more accepting of its likeness in the real world?

  • Parents can talk with teens about their rules regarding media use. Teens: In what capacity do you use devices like laptops, smart phones, and tablets? What about TV? Is your use restricted in any way? What dangers exist, and how do you protect yourself from them?

TV details

Cast:Bill Hader, Ike Barinholtz, Seth Meyers
Network:Hulu
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Superheroes, Misfits and underdogs
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of The Awesomes was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old September 12, 2013
age 18+
 

hi

hi
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bydkasal000 December 2, 2014
age 15+
 
It is good the s word and the f word is bleeped out good for 15 or older
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing

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