MM writes: “I had a question about a show that my teen and preteen kids have been talking about. It is a show called House of Anubis. Have you heard anything about this show and do you think that it is an appropriate show for my children to be watching?”
You are wise to question this show. After all, it’s named after Anubis – the Egyptian god of the dead. (Is it just me, or is children’s literature become more macabre every year?)Anyway, the House of Anubis is based on a Dutch-Belgian television series created by Hans Bourlon and Gert Verhulst that became a joint Nickelodeon British-American mystery show. It premiered in the U.S. on New Year’s Day in 2011.
The plot surrounds a boarding school in an old house known as Anubis House in which nine young people are living. The mystery begins during the show’s premier when one of the residents (a girl named Joy) mysteriously disappeared right after an American girl (Nina) moved in. Joy’s best friend Patricia accuses Nina of having something to do with Joy’s disappearance. Nina is forced to spend a night in the attic where she comes across the diary of Sarah Frobisher-Smythe, now an old woman who lived in the house long ago and whose acquaintance she makes. Sarah reveals that the house has a secret history and gives Nina an Eye of Horus-shaped necklace which supposedly has mysterious powers. (Horus was an Egyptian god of the sky whose “eyes” were supposedly the sun and the moon. The “eye of Horus” is popularly worn as a kind of good-luck-charm.)
Nina enlists fellow students Fabian and Amber to form a secret group known as Sibuna (means Anubis backward) to investigate the mystery which surrounds the search for the so-called Cup of Ankh which gives immortality to the one who drinks it.
A review of the series appearing on Focus on the Family’s Plugged In, calls the show a “just barely occult-tinged whodunit” that combines “Goosebumps-style thrills and low-key playground romance.” The reviewer urges parents to take note of the aura of the occult that is present in the series which is, after all, named after an Egyptian god “associated with mummification and the afterlife.”
Another problem is that adults in the series are portrayed negatively and in a way that distorts the moral order. As Plugged In explains, “Since it’s the adults who are standing in their way when it comes to solving the house’s mysteries, the boarders must circumvent authority in any way they can. They steal keys, break curfew, lie and cheat—all ‘for the greater good’.”
The series is clean as far as sexual innuendo, language and violence are concerned, but the occult is definitely present in this show.