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 adult-oriented cartoon relies on shock value and sexual humor for laughs, making it an iffy choice for older teens who might glean some questionable messages from its admittedly ridiculous premise. Expect lots of crude language and visuals, including characters who say "suck my balls" and defecate on police officers, and others who rip their faces off and eat brains -- although the strongest language (including words like "c--k") is bleeped. Alcohol and sex are also a regular part of the storyline.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
UGLY AMERICANS charts the efforts of everyman social worker Mark Lilly (voiced by Matt Oberg) to help humans and other \"foreigners\" -- including zombies, demons, vampires, and werewolves -- to make the transition from freakish outcasts to ordinary Americans who earn a living and contribute to society like everyone else. But it's hard to keep a positive attitude when your clients have a tendency to give into their baser instincts. In the meantime, he's working things out with his zombie roommate, Randall (Kurt Metzger), and his demon boss, Callie (Natasha Leggero), and settling scores with a local law enforcement officer (Larry Murphy) who targets anyone who isn't a \"real\" American.
Is it any good?
For most people, Ugly Americans will be an acquired taste -- and might even trigger a gag reflex. After all, jokes involving a restaurant in Hell that serves unbaptized baby arm soup with a raspberry coulis or a rehabilitated zombie who takes a job washing windows at a brain storage facility (and ultimately can't control his cravings) aren't for everyone.
But those with a soft spot for the bizarre and an appreciation for hand-drawn details will probably feel differently about this uncommon horror-comedy. And it does have its moments, like when Mark advises a cereal-crunching Randall that he has a little something on his face, and Randall realizes, after wiping it off, that it was an actual piece of his face -- and a rather large one at that. But is it funny? Well...yes. But it's not for everyone.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this show skewers some Americans' views of immigrants and other "foreigners," and how that critique could be applied to current events. Do you think making a point about prejudice and hypocrisy is the point of the show?
How does the show play up violence for comedic effect? Does it work? Why or why not?
Why go with an animated format? Could the same premise ever work as a movie or television show? Why or why not?