The X's



Cartoon series about super-spy family falls flat.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A young boy is often seen wielding massive weapons and high-tech gadgets, or playing mean practical jokes on his sister. Family members literally push or throw each other around and have little respect for one another. On the positive side, the family often pulls together and works as a team in times of crisis.

Violence & scariness

Frequent face-offs between the spies and their enemies involve explosions, fisticuffs, and firing high-tech weapons.

Sexy stuff

Parents kiss passionately.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this show doesn't contain any really objectionable material, it's basically the equivalent of junk food and doesn't quite offer the kind of substance most parents look for in a TV show. The characterizations are broad (often to the point of being dumb and annoying), and the humor is often derived from things like flatulence jokes.

What's the story?

In Nickelodeon's manic cartoon series THE X'S, a family of four super-spies -- Mr. X (voiced by Patrick Warburton), Mrs. X (Wendie Malick), their daughter Tuesday (Lynsey Bartilson), and their son Truman (Jansen Panettiere) -- work for a top-secret organization called SUPERIOR. Armed with an arsenal of high-tech weapons and gadgets, they're constantly saving the world from the evil machinations of another top-secret organization, S.N.A.F.U., which is led by the evil Glowface (Chris Hardwick) and his minions. When they're not busy battling evil, the X's have their work cut out trying to fit into society and seem "normal" to their friends and neighbors -- not an easy feat when Glowface could track them down and blow their house apart at any moment. Anytime Mr. and Mrs. X attempt to do things normal families would do -- plan a slumber party for Tuesday, have a family portrait taken, use a coin-operated washing machine, or go to a bowling alley -- something goes wrong, and the family must scramble to keep their spy status a secret.

Is it any good?


If the basic premise of The X's seems familiar, it's because you've seen it before in Spy Kids and The Incredibles -- only those films gave it a much better treatment. The concept of an oddball family trying to blend in may be amusing to some degree, and tweens will identify with the story lines that involve Tuesday and Truman's sibling rivalry and their interactions with classmates. But besides being unoriginal, the show's humor often misses the mark, and the frantic animation and barrage of noise result in entertainment that's mostly flash -- blinding, headache-inducing flash -- and little substance. Although the subtle message about a family pulling together in times of need is commendable, overall the series lacks the high quality viewers expect of Nickelodeon, and its effect on children may be just like one big sugar rush.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the value of family members working as a team. How do the X's collaborate to defeat Glowface? Does your family work as a team in some ways? What are some ways you could help each another -- with daily tasks, etc. -- in order to make life easier for everyone? Another discussion topic could be respecting your family. Do the X's seem to respect one another? Why or why not? How does their behavior compare with the way people in your family treat one another?

TV details

Cast:Jansen Panettiere, Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Superheroes, Book characters
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byanime_freak004 April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

SO ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've hated this show from the start, I knew I'd hate it when I saw the preview! No offense to the fans but, I personally think this show is annoying. Great for kids 6+ though, kind of dumb once you hit 10 or 11 ( unless your a boy maybe LOL)
Teen, 16 years old Written byJoseph Rock February 28, 2012

Awful Awful Awful

This show is complete trash.I really hate the animation quality.Pus this is a straight rip-off of Time Squad!


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