A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages about taking care of one's community.
Positive Role Models
Characters exhibit compassion, determination, and ingenuity.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is a frequent part of the show, but it's talked about and hinted at more than seen. A man is murdered with a gun, a brutal wrestling match takes place, threats of violence are made toward a teen, etc.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Gets a lot of comedic mileage out of sex jokes, and many punchlines are just absurd or lurid sex acts. Clothed go-go dancers are seen in what is meant to be a strip club. Sexual language is used frequently.
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Profanity is used throughout, though some things are bleeped out: "s--t," "bitch," "d--k," etc.
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Products & Purchases
No consumerism, though it does feature a ton of Easter eggs and references to other movies or pop culture.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Drug dealing is part of the plot, but no drug use is seen. One character struggles with addiction.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ultra City Smiths is a stop-motion animation-comedy-musical-murder mystery-detective show. The tone and style of the show are similar to other silly but very mature series like Robot Chicken or Team America: World Police. There's a sincere detective noir at its core, but the series uses a mix of edgy humor and satire throughout. The series shows some violence (the murder victim has been shot in the head; there's a brutal wrestling match; etc.) but mostly features hints or threats of violence instead. There's a ton of sexual humor, which mostly consists of references to increasingly absurd sex acts, but some of the more extreme sexual language is bleeped out. Generally, the series finds a lot of comedy in jokes and punchlines that push boundaries, but it never tips all the way over into extreme violence or sexual content.
Is It Any Good?
Good murder mysteries often stun the audience by pulling together seemingly unrelated threads into an elegant, surprising solution -- this series nobly attempts to do this throughout the entire journey. The plot contains many different strands, each exposing a unique side of the seedy Ultra City, while the tone of the stop-motion series draws on everything from noir to satire to musical comedy. Movie references pop up throughout -- the main character is lifted straight out of David Fincher's Se7en and even named after Brad Pitt's character, and street gangs straight out of 1979's cult classic The Warriors roam the sidewalks and alleyways. The cast is similarly bonkers, featuring a recognizable cross-section of sitcom supporting characters alongside luminaries like Kristen Bell and John C. Reilly (and narrated by Tom Waits!). Ultra City Smiths may or may not ultimately be able to pull all the disparate stylistic threads together, but its willingness to throw anything and everything against the wall and see what sticks makes for a fun watch that's full of suprises.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.