A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Milky Way Underground isn't traditionally educational, but older child and adult listeners can use the show as a conversation starter. Its tackling of real-world family issues serves as a jumping-off point for open discussion.
Captures the teenage experience and all its complications. The message is that, though life is complex and relationships will change and evolve, it's all worth fighting for in the end. Difficult times and challenges don't last forever. Perseverance, navigating relationships and strengthening relationships, and self-discovery are all underlying themes.
Positive Role Models
Lydia and Elijah are resilient, level-headed kids trying to do their best to navigate a complex world. Given their parents' marital woes, the kids persevere as best they can. They make mistakes, such as lashing out at friends and keeping secrets. Their mother tries her best to ensure they feel loved and compensate for their father's inconsistency and alcohol addiction. Meanwhile, their father actively encourages them to keep secrets from their mother and is often absent for mysterious reasons. Their father has an alcohol addiction and is often intoxicated. He's in and out of different jobs because of his drinking. Parents have yelling arguments that kids can hear. Lydia sees a therapist to deal with difficulties.
The world of Milky Way Underground features a mix of perspectives, including Lydia and Elijah's elderly Nanny. Moreover, the story suggests Elijah has latent romantic feelings for his male friend, Morris. Different family structures are represented.
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Violence & Scariness
Lydia and Elijah face many real-world issues, such as a troubled and inconsistent home life, isolation from friends, the mortality of parental figures, and the consequences of their father's drinking problem. Such content could be scary or troublesome for younger listeners, as Milky Way Underground doesn't shy away from how complicated life can be.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lydia and Elijah's father has alcohol use disorder, which plays heavily into their home life. Many scenes feature him coming home intoxicated and slurring his words. Frequent use of caffeine by kids.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Milky Way Underground is a narrative fiction podcast for tweens and their families. Perseverance, navigating relationships and strengthening relationships, and self-discovery are all underlying themes. Topics can be a bit raw at times, dealing with family turmoil, a parent with alcohol use disorder, and complex friendships and relationships. Siblings, Lydia and Elijah, face a troubled home life, filled with secrets and complications often present in real life. Milky Way Underground uses these elements to emotionally ground the fantastical elements that inform the story and it contends with topics like a broken home with a gentle, non-judgmental touch. Moreover, the serialized storyline will leave listeners waiting expectantly for each week's new episode.
Is It Any Good?
The show has a bit of a slow burn, but one that's worthwhile for the right audience. The content in Milky Way Underground is may be a little mature for younger children, but tweens, teenage and even adult listeners will likely see themselves in the lead characters. The goal of the show is to tackle the real-life struggles and triumphs of growing up and discovering who you are. The two young leads venture out in search of their missing father and that journey paves the way for a ton of character development and deeper exploration into how one's adolescent experience informs the adult they will become.
For all its fantastical elements, the conscious approach to real life growing pains in Milky Way Underground make it an easy show to recommend.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.