Alphas

TV review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
Alphas TV Poster Image
Some violence plus positive messages in sci-fi crime drama.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The investigators utilize supernatural methods, but still employ traditional problem solving skills. They are dedicated to protecting others and generally serving the good of humanity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

With unique scientific abilities, each of the lead characters demonstrates the value of being proud to be different by utilizing those abilities in the service of the greater good, despite whatever negative impressions society may have of them.

Violence

Because the show revolves generally around solving unusual crimes, there are frequent moments of physical violence, but little blood. One episode features a sniper shooting that ends in a visible gunshot wound and slight bleeding. A lead character's superpowers involve the use of extreme brute force, often resulting in particularly violent physical altercations.

Sex

Mild flirtatious comments between characters; occasional kissing. Some sexual situations.

Language

Though there is no frequency to it, there are occasional words like "damn" and "balls."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults occasionally indulge in recreational drinks; secondary characters occasionally smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this hour-long science-fiction drama features consistent moments of violence, with occasional blood. With the focus of the show on crime solving, expect to see dead bodies, elaborate chases, some gun use, and some intense physical fights. The series is best for teen and up and does have some strong positive messaging about embracing what makes you unique and using exceptional abilities for the benefit of humankind.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 12 year old Written bydpd October 10, 2012

Great characters and mix of realistic sci-fi, mystery

My wife and I loved discovering Alphas last season and watched it religiously. The mix of awkward, ordinary people managing their extraordinary abilities and my... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 year old Written bySoccerdad23 March 10, 2015

Good for kids 7 and up!

I have no idea why Common Sense Media gave this a 15 age rating. I said no to my 13 year old when I saw the 15 but when I watched an episode with him I was comp... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byZara360 October 10, 2011

it's good. but watch with caution!

The show was great untill episode 6 (i think), when two of the main got too passionate for my tast, and in episode 8, it appears that have sex. there some langu... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byiamtheKING July 30, 2011

i like it

tell u the truth most kids wont even understand ALPHAS ive seen it and i love it but still parents should watch as a family cauze it does has some disturbing th... Continue reading

What's the story?

Mixing equal doses of classic cop show and sci-fi action thriller, ALPHAS revolves around the adventures of five people with the ability to stretch the capabilities of the human mind and essentially utilize superpowers, without the tights and capes. The five "alphas" (Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Laura Mennell, Ryan Cartwright, and Azita Ghanizada) operate as a team for the U.S. Department of Defense, working under the leadership of alphas expert Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn) to solve crimes that seem to be related to others with their unique capabilities. At the same time, elements of a larger conspiracy involving warring factions of alphas are hinted at throughout.

Is it any good?

Most TV shows that make it to air require a clever "logline," one sentence that sums up the idea for viewers and network executives alike. Alphas is clearly "Law & Order meets Heroes," a police procedural focusing on crimes related to superheroes, with a light sprinkling of an ongoing mystery layered on top. It's one of those forehead-slap ideas that seems obvious and cliche at the same time.

Fortunately, Alphas has some clever writing, strong actors, and an overall positive "being different is cool" message that make it a fun watch for teens and their parents. Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn chomps into his role as a slightly goofy mad scientist with relish, and the dynamics between the lead alphas establish easy rapport quickly and with a generous helping of humor. It's a step or two above the typical hour-long network or basic cable fare.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's reliance on physical violence as a key element. Are there different ways in which the show could have resolved its character conflicts?

  • Do you prefer this approach to superheroes as opposed to characters dressed in capes and tights? Why or why not? Does it feel more real this way?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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