At area theaters; also available on HBO Max.
Monsters at Work (TV-G)
Charming TV sequel delivers laughs for young and old.
“Monsters at Work” is a TV spinoff of the 2001 Pixar film classic “Monsters, Inc.” Since the monsters have changed their business model from scaring kids to making kids laugh, it’s less scary than the original movie. There are some mild suspenseful moments and slapstick injuries. There’s infrequent language such as “shut up” and “screwed” as well as occasional rude language between characters. As is typical with Pixar, there are occasionally product placement “Easter eggs” that reference toys from other Pixar or Disney properties. (10 roughly half-hour episodes)
Available on Disney Plus.
Middlemost Post (TV-Y7)
Kooky animated series has cartoonish violence, teamwork.
“Middlemost Post” is an animated series about the adventures of a quirky mail delivery team. Based out of a ship that balances precariously on top of a snowy mountain, the crew consists of former sailor Angus (voiced by John DiMaggio); former cloud Parker (Becky Robinson), who’s ready for a new career; and walrus Russell, a silent partner who acts a lot like a dog. Together they run the Middlemost Post, all while learning how to live and work together. Expect some cartoonish violence and language, including lots of words for rear end (“bum,” “butt,” “rumpus”) and much discussion of a “booty trap” where Angus runs into a cactus and gets a very swollen rear end. There’s also name calling including “stupid” and “jerk face.” This fast-paced but surprisingly warm series teaches sincere lessons about teamwork and family while being totally kooky at the same time. (Roughly 22-minute episodes)
Available on Nickelodeon.
Gossip Girl (TV-MA)
Drugs, sex, language in oddly colorless teen drama reboot.
“Gossip Girl” is a reboot of the teen drama series that aired on network TV from 2007 to 2012. None of the original characters appear in the reboot, but it is set in the same elite private schools and follows a group of wealthy teens whose exploits are gossiped about online. Since “Gossip Girl”-the-second is now made by a cable network, expect the iffy content to be ratcheted up: more sex and skin, more language, more substance abuse. Characters vape, drink heavily at clubs and pop pills; one character apparently takes prescription drugs frequently, mixing stimulants and depressants freely to cope with school. In one scene, teens take pills at a club, and pass them to each other by kissing. Characters have sex with moaning and movements; a typical scene shows a teen girl pulling up her dress and pushing down her boyfriend to give her oral sex; we don’t see any nudity but we watch her face as she moans and gasps. Cursing includes “f---” and “s---,” and many characters talk insultingly about those with less money, calling them “sad” and bringing attention to their non-designer clothing. Speaking of which, brands are everywhere, as are logos and labels: Uber, Louis Vuitton, Net-a-Porter, the list goes on. We see nonstop examples of luxury, from expensive cars to huge city apartments. The cast is more diverse than in the original, with characters of color as well as characters who vary in their sexual identities, but all are rich and privileged, and often very mean and flawed. (Roughly hour-long episodes)
Available on HBO Max.
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