A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Qualities such as ignorance, avarice, and arrogance are typically mocked on this comedy show. Female comics are featured in three out of five episodes, a far more gender-balanced roster than is typical in comedy.
Positive Role Models
Characters vary widely according to which comic is in the driver's seat, but many have a tinge of sweetness to them: A young man is touched to have a new dad, a partygoer makes a playlist he hopes everyone enjoys, and a woman wants to do her best at jury duty.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional scuffling, played for laughs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Scenes take place in a strip club with scantily clad women gyrating onstage. Strangers kiss with tongues fully extended. A woman calls herself a "slut" in a song. A man appears nude from the rear.
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Vulgar words for body parts and functions: "ass," "butthole," "boners," "tits." Expressions for sex: "going down." Other cursing: "s--t," "s--tty," "f--k," "f---king." A character emits a string of curses.
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Products & Purchases
Count Chocula, Dave & Buster's, Game of Thrones.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and wine; references to getting drunk complete with hangovers. Characters smoke cigarettes on-screen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Characters is a sketch-comedy show that allows up-and-coming comics to take over for a single episode. Some vignettes are just absurd; others can be vulgar: A depressed woman performs a striptease; a teenager is given permission to curse. Characters smoke cigarettes and drink beer and wine on-screen; afterward they refer to bad choices and hangovers. Cursing includes "s--t" and "f--k," and women are called "b---h." Expressions for sex and body parts include "boners" and "dicks." Many sketches deal with big issues, including racism, religious intolerance, sexism, and homophobia.
Is It Any Good?
With sketches that run the gamut from sparkling to weak, this series is a bit of a mixed bag but has enough highlights to make it worthwhile, particularly for comedy fans. Funny actors frequently complain that they're offered material that's far less amusing than they are; giving comics the chance to create the material they want is an intriguing challenge. These people can act funny, but can they create funny? The answer is, mostly, yes! Though the episodes vary in quality depending on who's at the helm, there are more hits than misses. Natasha Rockwell's episode is particularly enchanting as she morphs into a series of characters, from a homeless woman who threatens subway riders with Game of Thrones spoilers to a woman who embraces her blandness with a rap called "Basic Bitch." But there are plenty of other gems here, from a dramatic groom commanding the attention at his wedding to the host of cable TV show Big Trucks searching for the Southern-fried woman of his dreams. If you don't like what you're watching, just wait a few minutes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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