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The Brak Show
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 bizarre cartoon is meant for teens and adults. Though most of its humor is silly and nonsensical humor, themes surrounding domestic life -- including male-female gender dynamics and parent-child relationships -- might be confusing to younger viewers. The mother and father argue frequently, and the father regularly spouts chauvinistic vitriol, which most older teens will understand to be satirical. References to violence, sex, and alcohol occasionally come into play, but overall this is one of the tamer Adult Swim shows.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE BRAK SHOW -- a spin-off of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast -- is an animated comedy that airs as part of the Cartoon Network's late-night Adult Swim. It's a spoof on traditional domestic sitcoms like I Love Lucy (it even features a Cuban husband). The titular character (voiced by Andy Merrill) is a young alien boy whose friends include Zorak (C. Martin Croker), a fiendish alien praying mantis. Brak's traditionally styled mother (Marsha Crenshaw and, later, Joanna Daniel) -- who wears an apron and dishwashing gloves but has Brak's alien eyes -- spars frequently with her shrink-ray victim husband (George Lowe), who usually sits at the kitchen table reading a newspaper and is generally lazy and incompetent, sometimes making chauvinistic comments to his wife. The show's storylines are generally brief forays into the absurd (each is only 15 minutes long).
Is it any good?
Jokes about sex, sexism, and beer -- along with twisted examples of family and friend relationships -- mean that this show isn't for young viewers. Teens with a twisted sense of humor might enjoy it, and most will understand the satirical elements. But parents might want to check in with teens about the less-obvious humor regarding gender.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes something funny. Why isn't the same joke funny to everyone who hears it? What are the different styles of comedy? How is each one defined? Which style does this show fall into? Is its humor similar to or different from other Adult Swim shows? How? Families can also discuss why domestic life is so often mined for laughs. Do you think your family could be turned into a sitcom? When does your family have the most fun together?