The InBESTigators

TV review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
The InBESTigators TV Poster Image
Kid detectives solve mysteries in charming Aussie comedy.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The kid investigators model critical thinking skills of observation, analysis, evaluation, and explanation as they solve mysteries.

Positive Messages

Be open to new friendships. Teamwork makes the dream work. Everyone brings different talents to a team. A "busy mind" may annoy adults, but it makes life more interesting, and can be the key to success. Apologize when you're wrong. Have empathy: people who make bad decisions are often trying to meet some unmet need. Do the right thing, even when it's hard.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Likeable, interesting lead characters, each contributes in unique, useful ways: intelligence, humor, enthusiasm, social savvy, etc. Kind, respectful behavior is the norm; kids take responsibility for mistakes, deceptions, and rudeness. Cast is diverse: Maudie and Ava are white, Ezra is Asian, Tyler is black. Stereotypical representations of Ezra as tech-smart, and Kyle as sporty; they are otherwise well-developed characters. Both break gender stereotypes at times (cry, hug, etc.). Girl/boy stereotypes are sometimes evoked, and often promptly debunked. Diverse families represented: Maudie's dad is single – the death of her mother is referred to; another character's parents are getting a divorce.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that InBESTigators is an Australian series featuring four unlikely friends who form a detective agency to solve mysteries brought to them by town locals. Ezra, a precocious, tech-savvy kid, Maudie, the wickedly smart and socially awkward new girl, Tyler, an immensely likable goof, and dramatic Ava are as different as could be, but each bring unique talents to the team. Though not officially an educational show, the pint-sized detectives use the critical thinking skills of observation, analysis, evaluation, and explanation in the course of their investigations. Themes of kindness, teamwork, and responsibility make this a solid pick, which also has a racially diverse cast that often defies gender roles. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byJmn23 June 2, 2020

Stereotypical depictions of non-white characters

My husband and I were eager to watch this show with our children given the other positive reviews. I cringingly made it through one episode. True that the kids... Continue reading
Adult Written byMilesandNaomiMom June 10, 2020

Move beyond the stereotypes! Come On! We can do better

People have noted that the black child, Kyle, is sporty, which is very stereotypical. But it goes further. Kyle is seen as lagging behind, not understanding wha... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKungfuHeart August 14, 2020

It's like Sherlock Holmes for Kids

This TV show is great! It's like Sherlock Holmes for kids. The kids help people who need it, and always find out what happened. The great thing about this... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old May 26, 2020

What's the story?

The INBESTIGATORS are formed when Ezra sees new student Maudie asking questions and connecting dots like a whiz kid investigator after a tin of bake sale money goes missing. In awe of her skills, he asks her to start a detective agency with him. Fellow classmates Tyler and Ava dedicate themselves to the venture, too. They set up shop in a granny flat in Ezra's backyard, plaster the neighborhood with promotional fliers, and clients flow in. They unravel cases like packages missing from a porch, a missing science project, and a secret-turned-rumor. When the "crimes" are unraveled and the responsible party is confronted, viewers learn the motivation for the crime (for example, the missing science project was stolen, altered, and turned in as his own by a kid who was embarrassed to turn in a poorly done project). The perpetrators always apologize, and learn some sort of lesson or moral, like "stealing hurts others," and "turn in your own work."

Is it any good?

This hilarious mockumentary comedy is a delight to watch along with kids. The little actors' lines are often dripping with kid-friendly sarcasm and good-natured humor, and these cheeky kid detectives will keep parents chuckling along with their young viewers. The mysteries in The InBESTigators are generally low stakes (missing bake sale money, prank callers, a turtle thief), but sophisticated enough to keep big kid viewers engaged and guessing along. The morals and values that get emphasized once a mystery is solved are relevant to young tweens.

It's delightful to see super smart Maudie take charge on the investigations, but it can also seem like there are stereotypes attached to Ezra and Kyle. Aside from this critique, the show has role-model worthy characters, life lessons that don't come off as preachy, and adults who largely trust kids to solve their own problems; it's an enjoyable, age-appropriate comedy for tweens, and parents will be entertained as well.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the critical thinking skills used by the kids in The InBESTigators. How do they use observation, analysis, evaluation, and explanation as they investigate? Have you ever solved a mystery? How?

  • What character strengths can you see in the InBESTigators? How have you worked as a team or used your curiosity?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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