A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this quirky animated series earns its place in the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup with strong sexual innuendo (including references to oral sex, masturbation, and sadomasochism) and rude behavior. It's definitely not intended for kids, and the fact that much its humor is based on negative stereotypes might not appeal to adults, either. Expect some drinking, drug references, bleeped language, and limited use of guns.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR is an animated series about Tom Peters (voiced by Eric Wareheim), a self-proclaimed entrepreneur who's failed at every venture he's tried. Hoping to find success in the small, run-down town of Jefferton, he meets with the town's weird mayor (Tim Heidecker) to present some ideas that will make him -- and the town -- famous. Tom also relies on the mayor's dim receptionist Renee (Stephanie Courtney) and Jefferton's disinterested council members (Craig Anton, Ron Lynch) to get his ventures up and running. Unfortunately, his well-intentioned but rather half-baked projects -- like starting a health camp for boys sponsored by pipe smokers, or teaching kids about bear-trap safety -- usually end in chaos. And as if the pressure to succeed wasn't enough, Tom must also contend with his unpleasant wife, Joy (also Courtney), a morbidly obese woman and mother of three who takes every chance she can to express her disappointment in him.
Is it any good?
Decidedly adult in both content and style, Tom Goes to the Mayor is based on an award-winning short film and contains some unique animation. But although it's become a cult favorite in some circles, it isn't as cleverly written as some other Adult Swim shows, relying less on creative plotlines and more on stereotypes about people living in small-town America.
But what earns the show its TV-MA rating is its over-the-top sexual innuendo, which ranges from subtle wordplay to lewd images (including a woman grabbing Tom's crotch) to strong references to oral sex, masturbation, and sadomasochism. As a result, while adults may find the show fun late-night viewing, it's definitely not for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why some animated series aren't meant for kids. What are the differences between cartoons created for children (and even teens) and those created for adults? Can you think of any "kid" cartoons that seem better suited for older audiences? Why? Families can also discuss how the show uses small-town stereotypes to get laughs. Do you find that style of humor funny? Why or why not?