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 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
For kids who love music
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