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Wu-Tang: An American Saga

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Wu-Tang: An American Saga TV Poster Image
Cliched crime show can't live up to rap group's legacy.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Ultimately, this a story about creative people becoming artists. The road there, however, is about violent crime and selling drugs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

In real life, members of the Wu-Tang Clan are incredibly successful artists and businessmen. On the show, they often fall into stereotypical roles and actions.

Violence

The show is essentially a crime drama, so violence is often present, including a lot of gunplay.

Sex

Simulated sex, male nudity, and sexist language.

Language

Profanity is abundant: the n-word, "f--k," "s--t," etc.

Consumerism

The show is PR for the Wu-Tang Clan, but there's some light consumerism here and there, most of which is for nostalgic effect.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and smoke, and the main storyline has to do with drug dealers, so drugs are omnipresent.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wu-Tang: An American Saga is a crime drama loosely based on the early careers of the Wu-Tang Clan, a nine-member rap group from Staten Island. The show focuses on the mythology behind the group, including their early days as criminals and aspiring musicians. As such, the show depicts street violence, sexual situations including simulated sex, and drug use. Profanity is abundant, including the n-word, "f--k," and "s--t." Unfortunately, though the show's based on true stories, it's a heavily-cliched depiction of street life -- but fans of the group will be interested. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBeverlyRogers October 16, 2019

Wutang: An American Saga

I think the kid Sam that's in the wheelchair is the best part of this show. The little dude brings life to the show. It starts out boring but Sam and the g... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

WU-TANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA follows Bobby Diggs (Moonlight's Ashton Sanders) as he tries to work his way out of criminal life and into the music industry. Bobby is torn between his musical aspirations and the drug trade that the rest of his family is involved in. He's only half-committed to his job collecting money from errant drug sellers. Instead, his mind is on producing beats for himself and his friends -- including a childhood friend Sha (Into the Spider-verse's Shameik Moore), who runs with a rival gang and is actively trying to murder Bobby's associate D-Love (Siddiq Saunderson). 

Is it any good?

The story of the Wu-Tang Clan is absolutely legendary, but not for the reasons this series chooses to focus on. In real life, the RZA and the other eight members of the group revolutionized the music industry and empowered individual artists at a time when record labels were flourishing. But this miniseries chooses to focus less on the group's business acumen, and more on the mythology behind the group. That means Wu-Tang: An American Saga routinely falls into crime story cliches and renders its characters in broad strokes. While it's delightful to see young versions of beloved musicians (and the casting here is incredible), the show as a whole feels inessential -- more like a side-project than a major release.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Wu-Tang Clan. Who are they in real life, and why would they be the subject of a television show? How does the show compare to your impression of the group? How realistic is this depiction?

  • What drives Bobby Diggs? What do we learn about his character over the course of Wu-Tang: An American Saga? How do his actions affect his friends and family?

  • How does the show blend fact and fiction when telling this story? Does it matter? 

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TV details

For kids who love music

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