Parents' Guide to

Alias Grace

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

True story of a murder is another dark Atwood dystopia.

TV Netflix Drama 2017
Alias Grace Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 18+

Seemed interesting in the beginning, but gets gradually darker, more disturbing, and less satisfying

At first I was interested and thought the show was generally appropriate for the first few episodes despite some coarse language and name-calling, and moderately violent scenes/sexually suggestive material. In the last 2-3 episodes, things escalated VERY quickly and the violence was extremely morbid (I'm 23 and I've never allowed myself to watch something so disturbing.. without giving too much detail- there was a hatchet and dismemberment going on, and you see everything). It does not end in a satisfying way but leaves you with a dark nasty feeling that makes you feel like you should pray to feel more at ease. There are many sensual scenes that are not explicit but borderline inappropriate, and many grotesque sexual advances made by men throughout the series. The last episode has a sex scene which was what I would consider to be very inappropriate for children or any Christian to be honest.. It was very disturbing. Overall I wish I had not watched this series and was disappointed as well as greatly disturbed. I enjoy period dramas, especially in the 1800s, but these generally end well and are relaxing and enjoying to watch. If you are like me, please don't watch this!
age 18+

Very dark

I would never recommend this to a child, and in fact I wished I wouldn't have watched it as a grown woman. It was very dark and evil. I can handle watching intense movies, but this was too much for me. It lingers in a bad way.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (4 ):

There are no red robes and white caps in this stark, mesmerizing drama, but one central fact makes it as compelling as that other Atwood adaptation: It's a true story. Well, the outline of the story is true, anyway, though we have no way of knowing if the real woman bubbled with curious thoughts, or understood that her imprisonment was as much about political and social forces as it was about vintage law enforcement. But as the show takes form, with Grace relating her life's story to a sympathetic, quickly pixilated psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft), we quickly realize that Grace is as stuck in her circumstances as Offred; her life is just as harrowing.

The visuals aren't as striking as those in The Handmaid's Tale; everything seems just a little quieter and more muted. Grace's internal monologue is delivered in a singsongy lilt; everyone's clad in shades of oatmeal and gray; there are no sudden and shocking revelations (just numbingly familiar depictions of a powerless woman in the grip of circumstance). Still, it's lovely. One particular distinct pleasure of this show is that it lifts entire passages of Atwood's beautiful writing and makes them come to life in lengthy monologues of Grace's thoughts that we hear as she's impassively polishing tables or straightening beds. "'Murderess' is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell to it, that word -- musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: 'Murderess, Murderess.' It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor." Atwood fans and others will fall under Alias Grace's spell.

TV Details

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