A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Story of an illicit, sexual relationship between a high school teacher and her student is light on positive messages. A character is also shown shoplifting.
Positive Role Models
The victim is portrayed as a kind, if flawed, individual who values his relationships with his friends and family.
Violence & Scariness
Some verbal arguments and emotional abuse, but no physical violence to speak of.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong sexual content, including male and female masturbation, and sexual intercourse. No full nudity, but characters appear in various stages of undress.
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Strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," "c-m," "bitch," "ass," and "pissed."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of underage drinking and smoking, including marijuana use. Reference to being "stoned." Teens are given breathalyzer tests by police at a keg party.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Teacher is a mature drama series about an illicit, sexual affair between a high school teacher and her student. The show depicts the predator's grooming of her victim, as well as the ensuing relationship and its fallout. Strong sexual content, including intercourse and male and female masturbation, is frequently depicted. Teens are shown in their underwear in sexual situations. Teenage boys make sexual comments about their female peers. Pregnancy and ovulation is discussed. Foul language, including "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," "bitch," "ass," and "pissed," is used frequently. Characters, including teenagers, consume alcohol and smoke marijuana. A reference to being "stoned" is made. A teenager is given a breathalyzer test by a police officer. A woman shoplifts, and lies to her husband about meeting her underage student.
Is It Any Good?
A Teacher refreshingly tackles its shocking subject matter without sensationalizing it or following the expected, lurid path. While it pulls no punches -- both digging into the emotionally heavy, sensitive subject matter and depicting its sexual nature, it generally does so without heading into well-trodden, tabloid territory. The story takes its time and shows restraint, especially early on. It doesn't immediately introduce its two main characters as predator and victim in an illicit relationship, but fills in some of the blanks of their backstories, setting the stage for what's to come. Credit is due to Mara and Robinson, whose layered performances allow you to see how such an unfathomable situation can believably progress from taboo temptation to something much worse.
The dark, emotional nature of the narrative won't be for everyone, as it's a cautionary tale that has no problem taking some pretty uncomfortable turns. And while its episodic format allows it to build slowly -- usually to the benefit of its mature storytelling -- it can also linger a bit too long in those unsettling places. Still, if you're in the mood for a mature story on a subject that's too often played for shock value, A Teacher offers a compelling, nuanced take that could fetch some praise for its performers come awards season.
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.