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 TripTank is an animated series that relies on graphic violence, explicit sexual themes, and excessive strong language to entertain. In other words, it's definitely not for impressionable kids. The fact that characters are murdered in bloody fashion (with guns, by crushing and impaling) is meant to be funny, as are frequent scenes of dismemberment and other intentional violence. Sexuality is explored through issues such as bestiality, sodomy, and child abuse, all of which are presented in a comical fashion. Animals are shown engaging in the act itself, and people talk about everything from having sex with multiple partners to bedroom habits such as bondage and masochism. Expect pervasive language, too, such as "a--hole," "Goddamn it," "son of a bitch," and a long list of others, with only "f--k" warranting bleeps.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
TRIPTANK is an anthological series of animated shorts that mixes singular and recurring characters from a variety of accomplished creators. Blending human and creature characters and featuring multiple animation styles, the shorts star the likes of a suicidal chicken who grapples with life's disappointments, killer bees who try to discern whether or not they're really homicidal, and an accident-prone fox who invents elaborate processes by which he can kill a meal. Each half-hour episode incorporates about a dozen of these brief skits in rapid-fire succession.
Is it any good?
Because TripTank is a medley of stories from a pool of creators who count the likes of Saturday Night Live, Brickleberry, and Breaking Bad among their resume highlights, it's impossible to know what to expect at the start of each short. Of course, that's by design, as much of the show's entertainment value relates to the stories' ability to shock viewers with their edginess. In other words, it's no accident when three aliens swindle an elderly woman into an orgy so their magical semen can heal her cancer. This is the kind of entertainment the show's creators have set out to cultivate, and the end result isn't without laughs, but it is decidedly above the threshold of what's acceptable for many teens.
To its credit, TripTank's breakneck pace and use of many animated styles keeps the show interesting, and it boasts a talented voice cast. Also, when it comes down to it, it's hard not to chuckle over some of the skits, racy or violent though they are. For adults looking to mix up their comedy intake, this edgy show might fill a niche, but you'll likely want to save it for long after your kids are in bed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the kinds of messages explicit series such as this one send to viewers. Could any of the characters' behavior be considered responsible? Besides pure entertainment, is there a point to any of the content?
How does this show's presentation of sexuality compare to what you know to be acceptable? To what extent does the media influence teens' impression of appropriate sexual behavior? Do you ever see examples of positive sexual themes in shows or movies you watch?
Why do TV ratings exist? Do you think they do enough to educate viewers about the kind of content they can expect from a show? What else could (or should) be done in a case like this one to give parents a heads-up on what's coming on the show?
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