By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Edgy, dark action comedy has heartwarming themes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A mixed bag. Wayne has no regard for rules of either congenial society or the law, and his behavior is nearly always criminal in some way. He's burned down his house, set fire to other private property, beat up several people, and left the state with a 15-year-old girl. That said, he's been dealt a difficult hand and is guided by a self-defined moral code that, to him at least, justifies most of his actions, and he really does mean well. Serious issues like domestic abuse, kidnapping, and theft are dismissed with little consequence. Wayne is inspired to do what he does by the fact that he has no family once his dad dies.
Positive Role Models
Wayne can hardly be called a role model, given the illegality of so much of his actions, but he does have an inexplicably likable personality once you look past the tough exterior. He is a product of his surroundings and life experiences more than anything else. Del is street smart and tough as nails but softens to Wayne once she comes to trust him. Disappointed by the adults in their respective lives, they find unexpected guidance and help from some of the strangers they meet on their journey.
Violence & Scariness
Fistfights and street brawls are bloody and intense. A man shoots Wayne with a shotgun filled with rock salt, scarring his face; Del throws a running chainsaw at a man, cutting part of his foot off; Wayne stabs his own hand, bites off Del's father's nose, and shoots fireworks at him; and so on. Del's father drags her into the house by her hair in one scene.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mention of masturbation, "titty" magazines, boobs, and tits. Wayne's drawing of a penis is seen several times. A man is discovered fondling himself in his office, which he explains as checking for cancer. Wayne and Del are said to be dating, but there's little physical contact between them.
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Constant use of "f--k," "f--ker," "f--king," "mother--ker," "s--t," "Goddamn," "a--holes," "s--thole," "c--ksucker," "dips--t," "son of a bitch," "p---y," "hell," "ass," and "d--kheads."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer and smoke, and one acquaintance asks the teens if they want to get high.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wayne is about two street-smart teens who embark on a cross-country road trip, and their travels take them from one high-stakes encounter to the next. It's not intended for kids or young teens due to its excessive cursing, graphic violence, and mature plot. Violent situations include fistfights, gun use (in one scene, Wayne is shot in the face with rock salt from a shotgun), knife wounds, biting (Wayne bites off a man's nose), and even dismemberment by chainsaw, all of which is fairly gory to watch. There are references to sexual topics like masturbation, pornographic magazines, and body parts. Strong language is the biggest offender, though; everything goes (really, everything) and there's no editing. That said, Wayne and Del are exceedingly sympathetic characters despite their many flaws, and you can't help rooting for them to beat the odds and win the day.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
WAYNE is the story of a hard-luck teen (Mark McKenna) who sets out on a motorcycle with his new friend, Del (Ciara Bravo), after his father's death to reclaim a car his dad said was stolen from him years ago. With all they own in their backpacks and burning bridges as they go from Massachusetts to Florida, Wayne and Del find themselves in unusual circumstances just about everywhere they stop, but even more unexpected are the instances of kindness they also experience. Meanwhile, they're hunted by Del's father (Dean Winters), the local police, and a smattering of other people with axes to grind with the rebellious teens.
Is It Any Good?
This gritty, darkly comedic series earns its mature rating for sure, but it's also oddly heartwarming in parts and a testament (albeit an edgy one) to the resilience of the human spirit. Wayne's life is a series of hard knocks and disappointments, from trouble at school to an absentee mother to a father dying of cancer it's hinted was caused by his job. The final straw is a deathbed confession about a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am that would have been the only thing Wayne inherited from his dad. Suddenly this mature-beyond-his-years 16-year-old finds a purpose and partner just as desperate to escape her own life.
Wayne is not for the faint of heart when it comes to harsh language (especially from teens) or violence (this stuff is graphic, people), but surprisingly, that's not what sticks with you after an episode ends. Instead it's Wayne's dogged determination and Del's slow softening to his somewhat bizarre but commendable moral code, and how the two inspire each other to be better people in a world that seems intent on not cutting them a break. If you can overlook the general illegality of nearly their every move, this oddly endearing series will win you over.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether Wayne and Del are good role models. What positive character strengths do you see in each of them? Do these qualities compensate for their negative ones? To what degree have their respective environments influenced who they've become?
Is breaking the law ever justified? Would you say that is the case in any of what Wayne and Del do on their quest? How do you decide between the rule of law and your own moral conviction when the two conflict?
Does this show's mature content add something worthwhile to the plot? Would the story be as engaging without the violence or the strong language? Is the story appropriate for a younger audience save for that kind of content? What, if anything, could it teach teens?
- Premiere date: January 16, 2019
- Cast: Ciara Bravo, Mark McKenna, Dean Winters
- Network: YouTube Premium
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures
- Character Strengths: Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: July 1, 2022
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