What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the characters in this action cartoon originated within a Skechers commercial and the show could be construed as an extended advertisement for Skechers, who is a producer of the program. In addition, the show is fraught with physical and weapon-related violence. Teen superheroes face off with a mad scientist villain who creates powerful monsters to do his bidding, so their lives are expendable, and their deaths -- although implied rather than actually shown -- are commonplace. What’s more, the show’s glaring lack of positive adult influences on the teens makes for a pretty unrealistic scenario, so it’s important that if your kids tune in, they realize the differences between fantasy and reality.
What's the story?
In ZEVO-3, three teens’ lives are changed forever when they’re exposed to a mysterious substance called Zevo Compound and develop superhuman abilities. Suddenly Jason, Ellie, and Matt are thrust into an ongoing battle with Stankfoot, the mad scientist villain who created the compound, and his host of mutant monsters. It will take all of their powers combined to put an end to the evil he inflicts and to protect the residents of New Eden City.
Is it any good?
It’s tempting to hope that a story about three teens putting themselves in harm’s way to take down a malicious force would have some good themes for kids watching, but in this case, positive content is pretty hard to come by. Jason, Ellie, and Matt do learn to rely on each other and use their individual strengths to get the better of the more powerful monsters, but that’s the extent of anything positive.
Instead, the show is brimming with violence of nearly every kind, and in each instance the heroes manage to escape the barrage of fire, laser blasts, blunt force trauma, and chemical warfare from Stankfoot and his monsters without a scratch. Meanwhile, many of the monsters meet their demise at the teens’ hands, though their deaths are usually implied rather than shown. In other words, it’s clear that reality wasn’t a goal for the creators of this show, nor apparently was treating an impressionable audience to more worthwhile content they can grow on.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how violence is portrayed by the media. Did you think this show was overly violent for a cartoon? How does it compare to other ones you’ve seen? What, if anything, about the show’s style made the violence seem less realistic? Does seeing fighting on TV make it seem less harmful in real life to you?
Kids: How do you define a hero? What qualities do you admire in a role model? Who are some of your heroes? How does having a role model to look up to help you make good choices?
What are some of your special skills? How have you practiced and honed these skills? What kinds of things can you do with them? Can you use them to help people? To help your community? How do teams employ many people’s individual skills for the good of the whole?
Talk about the relationship betweens kids TV and consumer products. Does watching a show make kids more likely to buy a toy or other merchandise associated with that show? What about this show -- do you think it's an extended commercial for Skechers?