Chilling paranormal thrills for sturdy viewers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Alison tries to help people with her gift. A main character is struggling to come to terms with his young son's accidental death, for which he blames himself.


Occasionally spiritual encounters can get violent, leaving the victim bruised and scraped. In one scene, a man falls over a banister to his death when he's confronted by his victim's spirit. Sometimes the spirits bear injuries inflicted on them at death. Violent crimes and topics are discussed, including child abuse, suicide, and murder.


Kissing scenes are few and far between. Content sometimes touches on extramarital affairs.


"S--t" is heard infrequently (unbleeped), as is "Oh, my god."


In one episode, conversation alludes to the Harry Potter books and the Teletubbies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults occasionally drink alcohol in social settings or to relax alone.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this British paranormal suspense series is definitely not for young kids. The show deals with unsettled spirits who make contact with humans, and topics include murder, child molestation, and suicide. In one scene, a man falls over a banister to his death. The main character is a psychic who helps both the spirits who call on her and the families grieving after a loved one's death. Spooky scenes with spirits (who look fully human, if a bit pale) suddenly appearing or causing strange things to happen (doors slamming, papers flying, lights flickering) can be frightening. Views of realistic corpses and occasional violence top off the list of reasons to reserve this one for teens -- although, since the ever-changing storyline can be unpredictably frightening, parents may want to scan a few episodes before given even older kids the all-clear.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In AFTERLIFE, Alison Mundy (Leslie Sharp) has always known that she could communicate with the dead, but since her own near-death experience, the spirits have completely consumed her life. They come to her at home, in the grocery store, even walking down the street, each communicating a need for some kind of resolution before they can move on to the afterlife. To help them -- as well as those suffering a loss of a loved one -- Alison mediates between the dead and their families, helping them work out their emotions; as a consequence, she often ends up piecing together the mystery surrounding the victims' deaths. Alison's work introduces her to a skeptical university lecturer named Robert Bridge (Andrew Lincoln) who specializes in the field of psychic mediums. Still blaming himself for the car accident that killed his son Josh (Joshua David-Kennedy), Robert finds himself suddenly uncertain what to believe when Alison reveals she's been in contact with Josh.

Is it any good?


Afterlife combines the eeriness expected of a paranormal thriller with dramatic, multi-dimensional characters whose pasts slowly take shape before viewers' eyes. Suspense fans will find a lot to like in this British import, which is bolstered by a great cast, excellent special effects, and intriguing uses of symbolic videography.

But parents will want to at least scan a few episodes before giving even older kids the all-clear, as the plot's ever-changing nature means that surprises are often lurking around each corner. Scenes of corpses (which sometimes bear injuries from the manner of their death) can be disturbing, and spooky happenings (lights flickering, objects flying around a room) can send chills down your spine.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of life after death. Teens, do you believe in an afterlife? How plausible do psychics' claims of speaking with spirits seem? If your teens are skeptics, what would it take for them to change their minds? Families can also discuss the emotional journey that follows the death of a loved one. How do survivors cope with their loss? How is the process made more painful by the existence of unresolved issues with the person? If you could communicate with someone who has passed away, who would it be? What would you say?

TV details

Cast:Andrew Lincoln, Anna Wilson-Jones, Leslie Sharp
Network:BBC America
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Afterlife was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Great, but sometimes scarier than R-rated horror.
  • Psychic uses visions to solve violent crimes.
  • Smart detective series more funny than graphic.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byShaunIsKing April 9, 2008


real tense violent. she drinks and smokes heavily and is a terrible role model, she use psychicablity to help. loads of english language.
Teen, 13 years old Written byme23 April 9, 2008


It is not for young viewers. It is scary and creepy, though it does watch itself out for violance. Alison drinks and chain smokes, in some episodes she appears drunk. Her Charecter is complex, but the way she reacts is the stuff in childrens nighmares. There are plenty of scares, and it gets kind-of creepy, but older children can handle it and apprciate the show more then hiding behind a pillow.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Special Needs Guide