Review: Raised by Wolves, seasons 1-2

The cast of raised by wolves

Raised by Wolves is a half-hour comedy from the UK and the warped minds of creators Caitlin Moran and her sister Caroline Moran. Seasons 1 and 2 of this comedy are streaming on Acorn TV.

Raised by Wolves features a single mom with six kids. The kids don’t go to school but they are all geniuses. They range in age from infants to 16 year olds. The series is set in Wolverhampton, England, and reflects autobiographical aspects of the writers’ lives growing up there.

Della (Rebekah Staton) is the mom. She’s capable, hard-nosed, self-sufficient and has no visible means of support in season 1. Her dad, Grampy (Philip Jackson), is another adult in the vicinity of all those children.

Before the end of season 1, Grampy moves in with Della. Della’s mother, whose face we never see, is so scary and horrifying the whole family avoids her. Grampy is thrown out by her.

Rebekah Staton in Raised by Wolves
Mom material

Germaine (Helen Monks), the eldest kid, is horny as hell, slightly overweight, loud, and funny. Germaine is an extrovert. She’s hot for a guy named Lee (Kaine Zajaz), but Lee has it bad for their older cousin Cathy (Erin Kellyman).

Next in line are two introverted sisters Aretha (Alexa Davies) and Yoko (Molly Risker). Aretha might be gay and Yoko is painfully shy. You may have picked up on the fact that everyone is named after a singer.

The three oldest sisters are a team and do everything together while discussing it at maximum decibel and being inadvertently hilarious. They’re so smart and well read that they can say something appropriate and literary about anything. They’ve seen absolutely every movie, except, for unknown reasons, Watership Down. There are lots of pop culture references.

The three smallest kids are Wyatt (Caden Ellis Wall), Mariah (Erin Freeman), and baby Cher. Even the smaller kids turn in credible performances.

When I began the first episode, I thought I wasn’t going to like the series. It seemed too silly. Before episode 1 had ended, I was interested in this unusual family and the people in it.

Helen Monks, Alexa Davies, and Erin Kellyman in Raised by Wolves
Is cousin Cindy competition or a mentor?

Their story is unique, and getting to know the individuals is hampered by their way with words, but I grew to like them all.

In season 2, the father (Paul Higgins) shows up. He doesn’t live with them, but he’s around a lot. We find out how Della supports this wild batch of offspring.

Germaine acquires a boyfriend eventually. His name is Callum (Brandon Fellows) and he is mostly dumbstruck by his girlfriend’s family and her frank sexual conversation.

Philip Jackson, Rebekah Staton, Helen Monks, Alexa Davies, Caden Ellis Wall, Isabella Booth, Scarlett Booth, Erin Freeman in Raised by Wolves
A serious moment of family togetherness

Aretha decides to go to school. Real school. First she is sent to the public school her mother and grandfather attended. She is disgusted by it immediately. She then enrolled in adult classes, which suited her serious sensibilities. She developed a raging crush on her economics teacher (Charlotte Ritchie), thus confirming Germaine’s oft-stated theory that her sister Aretha was gay.

Much of the humor in this series comes from the sexual metaphors, which litter the landscape like grains of sand. If it isn’t Germaine saying it, it’s Della or Grampy. I was also amused by Germaine’s style – her hair, her clothes – she is a unique sight.

Poster for Raised by Wolves

The trailer is very short, but then each of the episodes are short, too. Watching with subtitles turned on is a must for me.

And here’s the series 2 trailer.

Have you watched this series? Did you find it funny? If you have watched it, I think you can see exactly where it came from in this video with Caitlin and Caroline Moran walking around Wolverhampton as a promo for the series.

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