The Geeky Parent Guide aims to highlight media that both kids AND their grown-ups will be able to enjoy. This year, the GPG is focusing not only on the joy of the content itself, but on digging deeper to determine *why* media is of interest to various members of the family, as well as the valuable (and challenging) aspects of its messaging. As families grow and evolve, so, too, do their interests, and we hope to provide fun and thoughtful ways for families to sit back, relax, and enjoy new books, movies, comics, TV, and more.
Today, we explore Disney+’s Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion, a superhero tale wrapped around a 13-year-old teenager who discovers a luchador mask, the incredible superpower that comes along with it, and what it means to be a hero with or without the mask.
What Is Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion About?
Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion follows Violet Rodriguez and the life she leads after discovering a purple luchador mask. The mask not only represents lucha libre wrestling, it helps to protect one’s identity. Violet immediately seeks out the city’s superhero, Black Scorpion, in the hopes of teaming up to solve crime.
Violet has to navigate her new superhero relationship alongside the close bonds with her family and best friend Maya. The excited teenager (rightfully so) immediately tells Maya about the mask, and they create a new path where navigating superpowers is now a permanent part of their friendship. She hides the Ultra Violet secret from everyone else, except for Black Scorpion, as they discover each other’s identities very early in the show.
Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion: Season 1 includes 16 episodes, with each one lasting around 25 minutes. The comedic superhero adventure is fun and family friendly, while also providing thoughtful narratives revolving around relationships, responsibilities, and what it means to be in the constantly shifting world of a teenager.
Why It’s Great for Parents
Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion represents what a supportive family unit might look like. Marianna Burelli and Juan Alfonso play Violet’s parents, Nina and Juan Carlos, and they thrive in their parental roles. Nina and Juan Carlos support each other and their kids beautifully, providing good advice and sincere emotional support whenever one of their kids has a question or problem. Their reactions aren’t always perfect, but their charismatic and sometimes kooky natures make them believable to watch on the small screen.
On top of seeing wonderful parenting in this show, it’s exceptionally entertaining. You will get to see how other parents react to their kids being superstars or making mistakes, and it presents a wonderful perspective on how to be a parent. Personally, I’d love to be as good of a parent as Nina and Juan Carlos. Plus, it’s refreshing to see Juan Carlos as a calming presence when it comes to difficult situations, which inspires me to always look at life with such a positive and nurturing lens.
I wish Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion was on when I was a kid; it’s that good.
Why It’s Great for Kids
There are zany moments, like Black Scorpion’s superhero voice, but characters make fun or call each other out in a way that makes these quirky instances endearing and not corny. Violet’s portrayal by Scarlett Estevez is perfect, because the character is imperfect. Ultra Violet is trying to discover who she is, not only as a superhero, but as a 13-year-old teenager in the midst of pesky hall monitors and sleepovers at the “cool kid’s” house.
Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion has the quintessential feel when it comes to a very enjoyable, all-ages experience. Colorful captions and backgrounds pop onto the screen during fight scenes, while both Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion attempt to say clever things after a successful night of fighting crime. Plus, kids will get to see their onscreen peers struggle with day-to-day life, whether it be making tough choices or finding ways to multitask.
The show also shines a light on what it means to have encouraging role models and the positive impact surrounding good choices. Being a kid is hard, whether you’re trying to fit in at school or avoid feelings of disappointing others, but this show identifies those nuances and amplifies them with unconditional heartfelt love. Not only will kids find many of the characters endearing, they’ll be able to find something relatable to hold onto – even if they don’t have a luchador mask to give them special powers.
No Parental Concerns or Limitations
I believe Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion is a phenomenal all-ages show worthy of any child’s attention. There are violent sequences, such as punches, kicks, or an evildoer wielding a sword who’s attempting to hack at one of our heroes, but none of it is too intense. There is an element of mind control, which could make very young viewers confused or nervous, depending on age.
Nothing stood out as inappropriate or had me question the TV-G rating, so parents should feel comfortable letting their kids watch this on their own.
This television series does capture an abundance of important talking points, but it is also equally valuable to just watch and have your kids see those important moments regardless of any Q & A afterwards. Here are just a few worth mentioning, if you are wanting your kids to dive into specific topics:
Seeing Yourself in Superheroes (Spoiler Alert for “You Like Me! You Really Like Me!”)
During episode 2, a little girl gets lost and Ultra Violet rescues her from oncoming traffic. The following conversation takes place:
Girl: “It’s you. You look just like me.”
Ultra Violet: “Oh, yeah. I guess I do.”
Girl: “That is so cool!”
Such a simple statement carries a lot of weight when it comes to letting kids imagine themselves as being something bigger than who they are or how they might feel. Superheroes with superpowers are fictional elements, but we all can still wish to have a chance at something so wonderful.
Watching characters achieve greatness by doing good allows kids to wonder what else they might become as they get older. Perhaps they see a character playing a guitar or designing clothes and that sparks something. Maybe they watch a wrestling match and want to be a high-flying luchador. Superheroes are cool, but expanding a kid’s horizon of possibilities is equally important.
Several characters in this show have moments where they might be frustrated or feel unheard, but there’s excellent structure within the framework of this show. The family dynamics allow for open communication, but they also dosn’t shy away from parents who might be afraid for their kids and their future. Although it’s tough to watch your kids grow up, it’s important for them to see characters who are able to speak up for themselves, while showing a capacity to listen and understand someone else’s point of view.
Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion excels at putting characters into positions where they learn how life isn’t simply just “black or white.” In one particular episode, Violet does not understand Maya’s reaction to missing an important event and compounds it by not giving her space to process how she feels. Despite them being best friends, there was an assumption of “everything will be fine” because of their close bond. Violet had to realize that saying “I’m sorry” does not always make everything okay. Sometimes, you can’t take back actions once they happen.
The show also presents moments where people sometimes do bad things when put into dire situations. For example: A person attempts to steal fuel from a vehicle, because his mother couldn’t afford the utility bill and needs the fuel to run a generator. This type of moment lets kids see that there are people in the world who struggle to make ends meet, and they do things to try and get by. In the process of seeing this, your kids might also wonder how such problems could be solved in the real world today. Perhaps they might ask more questions: Why is there a world where people don’t have enough? Why can’t people afford basic needs? What is being done to help?
These types of lessons aren’t justifying someone’s actions, but indicating why someone might do something in the first place. Maybe it will make it easier for kids to try and help others in the future, especially if they find themselves in a position to do so. Kindness matters and finding solutions to problems is a big part of this show’s DNA, which is why it’s easily on a list of shows worthy of rewatching again and again.
Additional Recommendations Beyond Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion
Beyond wanting another season of Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion, I would highly recommend Ms. Marvel, which is also on Disney+. This series has a very “optimistic, fun” vibe. If you were to compare the two, Ms. Marvel is a bit of an upgrade regarding its age rating where it sits at TV-14. Although they both have great casts and wonderful storytelling, there are more violent sequences within Ms. Marvel that do not make it all-ages appropriate like Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion.
Plus, you can always watch Ms. Marvel ahead to see if your kids will be able to handle those sequences before they dive into the incredible journey of Kamala Khan’s life. If you want even more recommendations, or you’d like to see more coverage of other TV shows, please feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter, and while you’re there, like and share with all of your geeky friends.
What do you think of Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion? Do you have a favorite episode or character moment? Is there anything I didn’t highlight you’d suggest when recommending this show? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking!