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Serial Mom Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Waters' cheery murder satire is gory and profane.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is considerable violence and killing here. Splattery gore happens both in video clips from famous horror movies (which are praised as entertainment, over more wholesome movies like Annie) and in the "real" narrative. There are depictions of sex and male masturbation and brief glimpses of topless/pornographic magazines. A Catholic mass is ridiculed. The swearing gets really vile in places, and, like the violence, it's meant as a contrast to the tame-looking situation-comedy milieu.

  • Families can talk about the fascination with serial killers. How can a law-and-order society like the United States simultaneously make folk heroes out of mass murderers it condemns? Is the media to blame? Is Waters' sitcom-funny take on this pathology part of the problem or part of the solution? Parents can ask kids what they think of serial-killer trading cards, comics, or Web sites.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: As part of the satire Beverly is a "role model" American housewife to the utmost -- perfectly mannered and spotlessly domestic -- when she isn't a profanity-spewing, murderous, manipulative sexpot psycho. Her husband and kids (normal, except for a gore-movie-loving son) vow to unconditionally love her even if she is insane.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Characters are stabbed (one character's viscera comes off on the rapier), one run over by a car, others bashed to death, and one set on fire. Gory excerpts from slasher movies.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Glimpse of nudie magazines and a topless woman on vintage exploitation video (to which a character masturbates). Mrs. Sutphin and her husband have loud sex (but stay clothed in sleepwear). References to pornography and perversion.

  • language false5

    Language: Beverly makes horrible obscene phone calls to the neighbor, heavy on the c-sucker word, later making the victim break down in a swearing fit herself. "A-hole," the S-word, and more. For what it's worth, this same Jekyll/Hyde heroine disapproves of using profanity.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Mention of other movies, with favorable critiques for the adults-only horror movies Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Blood Feast, negative ones about family-friendly fare like Annie and Bill Cosby. A joke about a Pee-wee Herman doll, shots of major department stores and breakfast cereals. Mention of clothing labels.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Reference to a character being a "pothead." Social drinking.

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