The Hollow Men

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The Hollow Men TV Poster Image
Python wannabes' skits center on bawdy humor.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Skits include characters of all types -- good, bad, and in-between -- though most are generally benign. The cast members themselves are exclusively Caucasian. Lots of gay-centric humor, though it's not homophobic. Other groups are also mocked, but all in the name of comedy.

Violence

Some slapstick/pratfall humor.

Sex

The majority of the show's jokes/skits have sexual themes and include sexual slang/language ("balls," "peckers," "spunk," "whores," etc.) and refer to sexual acts (including oral sex). But sex is talked about, not shown. The guys, like many sketch comedians before them, frequently dress in drag to play women, and sometimes the "women" kiss their fellow comedians to get laughs. Partially dressed men are shown; one skit includes a character with a covered (but obvious) erection.

Language

Lots of sexual language ("spunk," "prick," "screw," etc.). Occasional "ass."

Consumerism

Jokes about marketing, consumerism.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer frequently appears in skits; wine and hard liquor make appearances as well.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this ribald sketch comedy show includes lots of sexually oriented humor, much of it designed to be "offensively" funny. Expect explicit references to infidelity, masturbation, and sexual acts, including homosexual oral sex. Scenes include a man with a covered-but-obvious erection, as well as a man wearing underwear with garter belts. Characters drink beer, play poker, visit strip clubs, and act irresponsibly ... all in the name of comedy. Language includes plenty of body-part slang ("pecker," "balls," etc.).

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What's the story?

THE HOLLOW MEN are four British guys who write and perform smart skits with decidedly bawdy themes, playing all the roles themselves -- including the female ones (they cheerfully don drag).

Is it any good?

If the show's concept sounds familiar, it should: Fans of Monty Python and The Kids in the Hall are very well acquainted with just this sort of thing. But even though The Hollow Men aren't breaking new ground, they're still witty and -- for fans of intentionally vulgar humor -- lots of fun to watch. Skits vary from simply silly and juvenile -- like one that shows all sorts of people drinking a soda that causes them to say "monkey spunk" -- to slightly more complex ones that comment on social issues like homophobia and consumerism (like a skit about marketing a Spam-like product to gay men).

Due to its mature concepts and sexually themed material, The Hollow Men isn't a good fit for younger viewers. Even parents of teens may want to preview some episodes to decide whether the show's style of humor is appropriate for their family -- though chances are there isn't too much here that most teens haven't already seen.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about comedy. Aside from the accents, what makes non-American comedy different from that performed by U.S. comics? Do you think these differences make one group better than the other? How can you tell if comedy is good? What's the difference between intellectual humor and gross-out humor, and do you see them intersect sometimes? What do The Hollow Men have in common with other comedy troupes like Monty Python and The Kids in the Hall?

TV details

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