The Wrong Mans TV Poster Image

The Wrong Mans

Average Joes get pulled into violence, accidental espionge.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Amid the show's violence and overarching sense of danger, there are palpable themes of friendship, loyalty, and civic duty.

Positive role models

Although Sam isn't the best role model at first -- or a model employee, for that matter -- as the action progresses, he emerges as a relatable hero. In short, he's doing the wrong things for the right reasons.


Explosions, shootings, beatings, and the like are realistic but don't tend to result in large amounts of visible blood. As the series goes on, however, the body count mounts.


Light sexual innuendo, plus brief nudity in the form of male buttocks. The main character used to date a coworker, who's now his boss.


Bleeped swearing includes "s--t" and "f--k."


A few brand names, such as Nokia, are mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are allusions to heavy partying and social drinking and drug use, but the action doesn't dwell on it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Wrong Mans is part comedy and part thriller, resulting in explosive (and at times violent) action that, although realistic, has overarching elements of absurdity. You'll hear bleeped swearing (mainly "s--t" and "f--k") and some light sexual innuendo, plus see brief nudity in the form of male buttocks. There also are allusions to heavy drinking and drug use, but partying isn't central to the plot.

What's the story?

When mild-mannered British county council worker Sam Pinkett (Mathew Baynton) answers a chilling call from a mobile phone he finds just steps away from the site of a car crash, he's unwittingly pulled into a world of deadly, high-stakes espionage that won't take "No, thank you" for an answer. But help arrives in the form of movie-quoting mail clerk Phil Bourne (James Corden), who signs himself up as Sam's sidekick and vows to "roll deep," no matter what. Although neither suspects what they're ultimately in for, together they're THE WRONG MANS for the job.

Is it any good?


Although it's airing in the United States exclusively on Hulu, The Wrong Mans previously reached British audiences via the BBC, where Baynton/Corden's winning partnership as a mismatched pair of buddy spies drew apt comparisons to Simon Pegg/Nick Frost pairings in big-screen comedies such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. And that might be why we like them so much here -- their chemistry feels chummy and familiar.

Either way, their hijinks are hilarious. And, although it's true that The Wrong Mans' comedic subtleties might not appeal to a wide swath of Americans, those looking for a fresh take on TV will appreciate the series' genre-bending break from tradition because it also delivers in the action department, from eye-popping visuals to effective cliffhangers that will keep you watching multiple episodes in succession.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about The Wrong Mans' mix of action and comedy. Does it favor one genre more than another? How does the show's comedic tone play against the relative realism of its violence?

  • How believable is The Wrong Mans' world? Does the show paint the world as a more dangerous place than it actually is?

  • How does the fact that The Wrong Mans airs in the United States exclusively on Hulu affect its audience? How might the series fare on network television or pay cable?

TV details

Premiere date:September 24, 2013
Cast:James Corden, Mathew Baynton, Sarah Solemani
Topics:Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byFamilyTrek January 3, 2014

This Is Wicked! Definitely 15+

The TV Show contains frequent strong language, violence, nudity and soft drug use. Throughout the whole series 12 uses of the F-word, one use of the middle finger and occasional uses of the S-word and the D-word. Some episodes can include scenes with strong violence like a man being stabbed and falling onto a car bleeding, a wife killing her own husband with a bowl made of glass and a drug dealer being brutally shot in the chest. There is a sex scene where a woman strips into her bikini and has sex with a man on bed, you don't see it but you hear the noises while two men are watching it on tape and also we see a man's bum. In one episode, we meet a alcoholic who smokes and takes cocaine. We only see the cocaine being spilt on the table. But this is one of the funniest and intense shows I've seen.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byHmcknigh January 28, 2016

Brilliant comedy, not for kids

'The Wrong Mans' is a superbly written espionage-comedy with a stellar cast, and brilliant story line. However, amidst this intricately woven plot lies very strong language (one episode has the duo pretending to be racists to get out of a sticky situation, some racial slurs do ensue), and intense sequences of violence. On the whole, sex is less of a focus here than in most modern programs (BBC or otherwise), however innuendo is a strong theme throughout the series (*spoiler alert* one scene included a male watching pornography, whose mother later comments that "all the girls in those videos were abused"). Additionally, in the episode "Inside Mans", *spoiler alert* one of the guys becomes the sexual target of an elderly Russian man, whose entire idea of sex has a perverse flavor (we see many of his twisted artwork on the walls of his house during an 'orgy-themed' party). This sub-plot becomes a recurring theme throughout the episode, as well as the following episode. However, the the sexual content throughout the series is limited to this episode, as the following episodes (with the exception of 'Wanted Mans') have almost no sexual content whatsoever. Young children more than likely won't be able to appreciate the witty dialogue, and curious teens should be careful (or skip altogether) the episodes containing the aforementioned sexuality.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 2, 2016

Very funny

It is a very funny TV show but there is a lot of swearing and violence
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing