Parents' Guide to

American Odyssey

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gritty ensemble drama draws inspiration from actual events.

TV NBC Drama 2015
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American Odyssey has lofty aims to deliver an engrossing drama with multiple main characters and intersecting plot points that, for added gravitas, reference recent events in world history through thinly veiled fiction. But, though it's absolutely gripping in parts, American Odyssey also can be confusing and not entirely convinced of its own relevance, as events such as Osama bin Laden's death and the Occupy movement already feel decidedly dated.

Of the three leads, Friel is by far the most compelling, and her story is worthy of full-time coverage. But since American Odyssey's structure dictates that her plight abroad is only one third of the show, you're forced to shift focus stateside when you'd much rather stick with Friel to see what happens next. For the times you're with her, though, American Odyssey feels like the addictive drama it's so desperately trying to be.

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