Parents' Guide to

Allen v. Farrow

By Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Family abuse docuseries is disturbing for all ages.

TV HBO Reality TV 2021
Allen v. Farrow Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

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

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Almost 30 years after the events of this docuseries, they hit differently -- we see now through a parent's eyes and we want to protect young Dylan from the trauma that has affected her entire life. At the time, as we're shown, Woody Allen was a quirky, beloved filmmaker who embodied uptown New York and appeared to play out his neuroses on screen. Suddenly, we were confronted with another possibility that completely reframed him: He was a predator who seduced his life partner's child and sexually abused his 7-year-old daughter. The allegations were both shocking and fascinating; in the pre-internet era the allegations and the extended custody battle played out in nightly entertainment shows and in the tabloids. Then, the story seemed to be over. But the story wasn't over for the Farrow family. As an adult, Dylan says, "What I was really feeling was that I had let down the little girl that I was before when I couldn't speak about it. I wish that I had been stronger, that I hadn't crumpled so much under the pressure. I need to in a way prove to myself that I can face it, which is probably why I feel so strongly about coming forward now."

The documentarians here have seemingly unfettered access to the Farrow family, including Dylan, older brother Fletcher Previn, journalist Ronan, and reluctant Mia, as well as her sister and friends who were in their circle in the '90s. Mia's large, warm Connecticut home is the back drop for many of her home videos, and it's the site of Dylan's alleged abuse. The viewers feel what it was like to be part of this family, and how it the trauma of the early '90s changed it irreparably. Allen and wife Soon-Yi didn't participate in this series (they were asked for their input, the documentarians say), so this is really Dylan's story. It's worth your time to listen to it.

TV Details

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.

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

See how we rate