Allegiance

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Allegiance TV Poster Image
Family drama explores questions of ethics, espionage.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Central themes explore family, loyalty, and protecting those you love, but duplicity and blurry ethics factor in.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alex is highly intelligent and idealistic with unyielding allegiance to his job and country. His parents have committed treason in the past but were motivated by love and duty; in the present, they find their loyalties frequently in conflict. 

Violence

A woman is hit by a car; a man is burned alive; some blood, but the visuals stop short of graphic.

Sex

Suggestive kissing; sexual innuendo.

Language

"Hell," "damn."

Consumerism

Some visible brands (such as Burt's Bees).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking; some characters smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Allegiance explores the complicated relationship between a bright, young CIA analyst and his parents, who are former Russian spies. You'll see violent scenes involving murder and torture with some blood and see some sexual tension between characters (and steamy kissing). Language includes words such as "damn" and "hell," and some characters drink socially.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byscott76 March 21, 2015

Started well

Parents should be aware that, although this show started well with just the expected spy-action violence, further episodes became worse with underwear scenes, s... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Years after they left Russia and cut their ties to the KGB, former spies Katya (Hope Davis) and Mark (Scott Cohen) O'Connor are living happily as a married couple in New York City. But when their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse) -- a brilliant CIA analyst with a bright future who has no idea about his parents' past -- is pulled into a government investigation involving Russian intelligence, it threatens to spill their family secrets. Where does their ALLEGIANCE lie now?

Is it any good?

In spite of the fact that Allegiance was adapted from a critically acclaimed Israeli series, most U.S. audiences will compare it to The Americans, the 1980s-set FX drama starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, who star as another set of Russian sleeper spies posing as regular folk. Considering the shared subject matter, it's a logical link. But the two series are different enough that they actually have very little in common. For one, Allegiance is much more mainstream.

Although The Americans is decidedly dark and cerebral, Allegiance applies a lighter tone to the business of espionage, having occasional fun with Alex's otherworldly abilities to absorb and process information but stopping short of being "funny." (Stenhouse, by the way -- whose Hong Kong-born English heritage you'd never guess based on his American accent -- is a dead ringer for Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris. Particularly when he's wearing collared shirts under "preppy" sweaters. Go figure.) The show also centers more on the family unit -- in contrast to The Americans' focus on the central characters' marriage -- with far fewer content concerns for parents with older teens. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Allegiance's premise and the types of moral questions the main characters are wrestling with. Is family more important than country? What are the risks of lying to protect someone you love? How would you behave if you found yourself in similar circumstances?

  • What's the real-life history of foreign relations between the United States and Russia? How accurately does Allegiance portray present-day tensions? Is Russia still a relevant "enemy"?

  • How does Allegiance compare to The Americans, another prime-time drama about Russian spies living in the States, in terms of characters, tone, and message? Which series shows more promise?

TV details

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