Turn off these Netflix shows if your kids are around10/15/2020
It’s happened to the best of us: we flick on a show for our own entertainment that seems kid-safe enough should they happen wander into the room while we’re watching, but lo and behold, as if they have radar for it, the little cherub walks into the room at the exact moment something completely, embarrassingly inappropriate happens and we’re left flicking it off in a panic and hoping they aren’t about to repeat what they just saw or heard in class.
Well, just to save you some embarrassment and worry, here are a few shows that, while highly entertaining for adults, aren’t actually kid-friendly, however innocent their titles or animated characters may mislead you to believe them to be.
If The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park have dispelled any myth about TV, it’s that animated shows are automatically created for kids. We remember classmates spouting ridiculously inappropriate quotes from these shows before their parents figured out what they were letting their kids watch. These days, some new animated shows on Netflix look even more like something that might air on Nickelodeon, but we assure you: you don’t want your kids watching them with you.
Just because it's animated, doesn't mean it's for kids
First is Big Mouth, a coming of age comedy co-created by comedian Nick Kroll about the painful (hilarious) awkwardness of puberty (via Deadline). Puberty is even personified by furry, endearing “hormone monsters” assigned to each kid. It’s a laugh-out-loud, intelligent, at times heavy trip down memory lane for all of us who hated middle school, but no middle schooler should be watching it.
Similarly, Disenchantment looks and seems like a show perfectly geared toward fairy tale loving kids; it revolves around Princess Tiabeanie (“Bean”), whose destiny is to marry a handsome prince and unite Dreamland with another kingdom. The thing is, she’s not keen on this mission; all she really wants to do is drink, party, gamble, and generally gallivant around doing whatever she pleases with whomever she pleases. The show was created by Matt Groening (via IMDB) and has a similar tone to his other famous shows, The Simpsons and Futurama, so it’s probably best if you enjoy this one without the kiddos present.
Just because it's about kids, doesn't mean its for them
Picking a show that revolves around kids or teenagers as the main characters may seem like a safe way to let your kids join you for a Netflix binge, but that isn’t always a failsafe approach. Take The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for example. If you watched the original Sabrina The Teenage Witch back in the 90’s, you might assume this is just a reboot of the wholesome, funny show you loved. But you’d be wrong. This version of Sabrina, starring Mad Men’s Kiernen Shipka (via IMDB), is much darker than the original, with themes of devil worship and satanism, sex, and scenes so scary they might have you sleeping with the lights on, let alone your kids.
Sex Education is another show focused on school kids, but isn’t really for them. This is a smart, progressive, no-holds-barred comedy about a teenage boy named Otis coming of age in England, where his mother (played by the ever-charming Gillian Anderson) is a successful sex therapist and has virtually no boundaries (via RadioTimes). The show follows Otis as he struggles with his own issues surrounding sex and relationships and helps classmates navigate theirs. It has important messages and deals with some heavy themes while managing to be full of heart and sweetness (and belly laughs), but the constant and sometimes-graphic references to sexual acts and episodes dealing with issues like abortion and homophobia may not be suitable for younger viewers.
Superheros aren't always kid-friendly
Kids love superheros. We know this. How many countless Batmen and Supgirls have come to your door on Halloween? But not all superhero shows are necessarily safe for kids to watch. Take Jessica Jones, for instance. While young girls could see a role model in her toughness and independence, you probably don’t want them to watch a show that deals heavily with sexual assault, trauma, drug addiction, and alcoholism. It’s a gritty and powerful installment of the interconnected Marvel universe on Netflix that included shows: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Punisher, and the crossover of all five, The Defenders. In all honesty, you should probably skip all of them for younger kids. They each feature some major violence and references to difficult and upsetting situations and themes.
The Witcher is another show that might appeal to kids, simply because it’s based on a popular video game. And while you may have allowed your kids to play the game, you might want to think twice about letting them watch the show. Starring the dashing Henry Cavill of The Tudors and Superman, The Witcher doesn’t shy away from gruesome battle scenes, references to rape and abuse, and a fair amount of sex. So while watching a superhuman slay beasts with his mighty sword may be something your kids want to see, you probably don’t want them seeing the rest of the show.
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