A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Indy's adventures typically place him in opposition to some rival -- whether they're both on the hunt for some kind of ancient artifact or on different sides of a battlefield -- and generally try to paint the other side as the "bad" side. But the show sometimes gives short shrift to explaining why these opponents are actually in the wrong; just because another adventurer is seeking the same prize as our hero, he's not necessarily a villain. Some early 20th-century conflicts are clearly seen from the Western point of view, which seems to automatically assume that the European or American forces are the good guys, while rebellious ethnic tribesmen must be the bad guys. Failing to explain the larger background of these conflicts does a disservice to viewers, especially younger ones, who may get a skewed perspective of history. That said, one of the joys of this show is watching Indy interact with an extensive roster of important historical characters, ranging from a young Ernest Hemingway to T.E. Lawrence.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of action, though less than the big-screen movies. Indy's adventures always seem to include encounters with dangerous villains and often lead to fights of all kinds -- fist, gun, knife, sword, etc. Some of these battles are quite intense, and some characters die on screen, but there's little blood or gore. A good portion of the series takes place during World War I, so there are many battle scenes featuring machine guns, bombs, and other types of mechanized combat. Again, many injuries and some deaths, but little gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ever the romantic, Indy finds someone to woo in almost every episode that follows him as a teenager/young man -- though passionate kissing is generally the most that's shown on screen. There's no sex or nudity, though the show hints at some off-screen dalliances.
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Plenty of words like "darn" and "rats," as well as the occasional "damn," but not much stronger language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Plenty of social drinking, and teenage/young man Indy sometimes drinks until he and his pals are falling-down drunk, which is portrayed for laughs. Some characters smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show isn't just a TV version of the immensely popular Indiana Jones movies -- although, like the films, the series features plenty of excitement as young Indy pursues adventure (and sometimes romance) around the world; there's plenty of action (including fights with weapons); and the series does a decent job of emulating the films' mix of thrill-a-minute drama and light comedy. But with the show's stronger focus on Indy's involvement in historical events and interactions with major historical characters, there's less of a feeling of wall-to-wall escapades. The fight scenes are less polished, and the plots are sometimes thinly developed. But, on the flip side, there's more time for Indy to discuss important ideas about politics, love, friendship, and life.
Is It Any Good?
That said, don't expect a straight adaptation of the movies as the character moves to the small screen. Though there's plenty of action, and the series manages to capture the entertaining blend of thrills and comedy that made the movies so much fun, the plot twists sometimes seem a bit forced as the writers must engineer ways for Indy to run into the next big historical character. And it's hard for even the best action sequences to match the sheer audacity of Indy's big-screen exploits, some of which remain among the best ever filmed.
On the plus side, while the movies were non-stop thrill rides from start to finish, the TV version of Indy's life takes time to introduce some important ideas. When Indiana Jones sits down to discuss philosophy or love or art or military strategy with some of history's greatest thinkers, the series adds an enjoyable element of education that's missing from the films.
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Our Editors Recommend
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