HBO on AFN: A guide for parents
What Parents Need to KnowTREMEParents need to know that this dramatic and mature series -- which features the residents of the Treme neighborhood in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina -- includes potentially disturbing scenes of the storm’s aftermath, including flood damage and military patrols. The HBO series contains lots of profanity and the N -word is occasionally audible. Expect occasional nudity (bare buttocks, breasts) and frequent consumption of wine, Budweiser beer, and hard liquor. There’s also lots of cigarette, cigar, and pot smoking.
TRUE BLOODParents need to know that this pay-cable vampire series from the creator of Six Feet Under is, like that show, very much intended for adults. Viewers can expect plenty of nudity, simulated sex scenes, strong language, drinking, and drug use, as well as references to prostitution. That said, the show also explores the human ability to embrace and understand those who are different.
BIG LOVEParents need to know that the main character in this edgy polygamy drama has three different families with three different wives -- but even with all of those families, very little in the show is appropriate for kids. Instead of focusing on how one man juggles three families, it focuses on how he satisfies his three wives. Everything else -- his job, his kids -- is less important. It’s important to note that although this show is about polygamy, the characters are not Mormons.
BORED TO DEATHParents need to know that this quirky HBO comedy about a nebbishy novelist who decides to moonlight as a private detective is aimed at adults but is likely to interest teens thanks to stars Zach Galifianakis and Jason Schwartzman. The cases are unexceptional, but the job frequently forces the meek writer into new (and often entertaining) situations. His two best friends are a comic book artist who complains constantly about his sex life and a magazine editor who craves pot. Expect plenty of drinking (the main character is a borderline alcoholic) and marijuana use, a good bit of unbleeped swearing, and lots of talk about sex, though there’s not much on-screen action.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASMParents need to know that this cable sitcom is for mature teens and adults only. It includes jokes and themes based on race, disability, religion, etc. that mature folks will understand as ironic, but which the younger set may misinterpret. One character has a porn addiction and talks about it regularly, including discussing masturbation. One season’s story arc is based on the idea that the main character can have sex with someone other than his wife as an anniversary present. Though discussed plenty, sex is never shown, other than the occasional comedic grope. Since this is a pay cable series, profanity isn’t censored and occurs with enthusiastic regularity. Characters occasionally use drugs, though this isn’t a common element. Note: In the version of the show that runs in syndication, profanity and nudity have been edited to meet broadcast standards.
EASTBOUND & DOWNParents need to know that this pay cable comedy’s main character is a profane, misogynistic former baseball player who’s squandered his money and his talent. Angry and bitter about the direction his life has taken, he tries to soothe his pain with beer and drugs but secretly cries himself to sleep. Expect nonstop swearing, drinking, and drugs, as well as some nudity and frequent graphic descriptions of sex.
ENTOURAGEParents need to know that this is a no-holds-barred look at showbiz life (read: sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll -- or, rather, early calls at the set). Part drama, part comedy, the show doesn’t pull any punches. It gleefully dissects the underbelly of fame and fortune, not to mention the pursuit of all that jazz.
HUNGParents need to know that the title of this adult-themed dramedy (and many of its racy jokes) references the fact that main character Ray -- a “regular guy” who’s drawn into the sex trade as a gigolo -- has a particularly big ... asset in his new sideline: a very large penis. The show is more talk than action from that perspective -- although there’s still a good bit of both male and female nudity -- and the series’ focus is really on Ray’s serious financial woes and his relationships with his friends and family. Still, in addition to the explicit sexual content, expect plenty of uncensored swearing, as well as some drinking and casual drug use.