A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A small group of protagonists stands up against a shadowy, evil organization in an attempt to protect others and serve the greater good. But the show's tone is dark, and there's the sense that evil lurks everwhere.
Positive Role Models
All of the protagonists stand out as positive role models with a clear sense of good and bad. One of the main characters is a smart, creative doctor who has clearly used many years of study toward becoming accomplished in his chosen field.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent scenes of both hand-to-hand and gun violence. Many murders, and several of the shootings feature clear, explicit gore. Overall, there's a generally ominous tone.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional flirting and mildly suggestive dialogue.
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Occasional use of language like "damn," "hell" and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Sequences taking place in the 1960s (when the prison was still active) occasionally feature characters smoking or drinking, which reflects typical behavior of that era. One of the modern-day supporting characters owns a bar, and scenes occasionally take place there, with characters engaging in social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this dark crime drama has significant supernatural elements and occasional moments of suspense that will definitely frighten younger viewers. In addition, the level of violence is sometimes heavy and includes weapon use (shootings, etc.) and occasional scenes of explicit blood and/or gore. Language is relatively sparse but does include "ass," "hell," and "damn."
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Lost who are still looking for a series to fill its void might find something appealing in J.J. Abrams' dark police mystery drama. Alcatraz has the vibe down -- the pulse-pounding music, the moments of surprise and suspense, the enigmatic figure of authority who seems to know far more than he's letting on. (Plus, Lost's Hurley -- Jorge Garcia -- is one of the show's stars.)
On Alcatraz, the central conceit borders on the ludicrous: 300 criminals and guards disappear from the prison in the 1960s, but no one knows how or why, and now they're coming back unaged and ready to be evil again. It's like elements were drawn from a fish bowl and glued together on a sheet of paper. What makes Alcatraz watchable are the occasional flashes of wit in the scripting and some classic scenery-chewing from Neill, a longtime master at sideways glances that imply more than you can ever hope to understand.
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.