A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Messages about female friendship are just about the only positive to be gleaned here -- Ludo and Chiara at least support each other loyally even if they lead each other into trouble.
Positive Role Models
Backstabbing friends, disinterested parents, and clueless authority figures are the order of the day. Ludo and Chiara are at least intelligent and thoughtful young women with agency, but parents will be alarmed by their choices: drinking, partying with older scary dudes, stealing mom's car. Main character Damiano is a brooding bully, too.
Violence & Scariness
Characters fight and brawl with each other: girls slap and push each other at a party, one pushes another into a pool. A sudden death anchors dramatic plotlines later in season 1; expect to see a dead body with some blood on his face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
For a drama that's gained controversy for being about teen sex work, nothing is shown that wouldn't be on network TV: characters have sex under sheets or the camera zooms in on faces instead of body parts. Sex work is discussed in veiled terms: a girl is told a date with a client would include "no obligations" unless "you were to decide." A girl is bullied at school for a sex video taken (and shared) by an ex; we see her on her knees and hear talk about "making love" and where to "put it." The video is shown to an entire party of teens (as the subject cries) and she's called a "slut" and asked about her "porno."
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Language includes "f--k," "f--king," "a--hole," "s--tty," a group of mocking students call another a "slut," and ask if she's making "another porno."
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Products & Purchases
The show points up privilege and lingers on visuals that display wealth: big lavishly decorated houses, sleek cars with rolled-up windows that protect the occupants from coming into contact with others on the street.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Multiple teens smoke cigarettes, including casually at home. A man vapes at a restaurant. Teens drink tequila shots and beer at a party and smoke joints. One character sells pot and talks about quantities and prices (and is menaced by underworld types).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Baby is a drama loosely based on a 2013 Italian scandal about young teens doing sex work. Not as explicit as its premise would make it seem, the drama contains no nudity or scenes of sex work. Characters do have sex, but it's teens having consensual sex with each other, with no body parts seen. Sex work is discussed in vague terms like when a man tells a girl there'd be no "obligations" with a client. A teen who took a sex video with a boyfriend is shamed by her schoolmates and called "slut," while the video is shown at a party to humiliate her. Many teens smoke cigarettes routinely, drink beer and alcohol, and smoke pot; one main character sells it to satisfy some gang types. An accidental death provides drama; we see the dead body with a bloody face. Teens also fight at a party and one gets pushed into a pool. Language includes "f--k," "f--king," "a--hole," "s--tty." Adult authority figures are largely absent, clueless, and/or actively predatory.
Is It Any Good?
Glossy, seamy, and yet less exploitative than viewers might assume upon hearing it's (loosely) based on a real-life underage sex work scandal, this drama is an odd yet interesting mix of genres. On the one hand, Baby's premise lends the production a major whiff of drive-in movie trash; on the other, that particular plotline is downplayed in favor of more generic teens-in-trouble materials: romantic complications, mean kids at school, parents who just don't understand. This tilts the drama more in the direction of teen soaps like Riverdale, Gossip Girl, or even fellow Netflix foreign-language privileged-kids potboiler Elite.
In fact, Chiara and Ludo are never even seen plying the trade that they're ever-so-slightly involved in. We see Ludo on one awkward dinner date with an older schlubby guy, and lots of scenes of the pair of them gyrating in brief outfits in clubs while skeevy older guys talk about the pile of money the teens will make them. Meanwhile, outside of the sex work angle, the trials and tribulations of this particular set of rich-and-beautiful teens is decently intriguing even if you've seen it before -- the show's Italian heritage lends it intriguing differences from its American cousins. Who are these Euro teens who smoke, club all night, and have parents who barely notice their existence, except to pass a croissant and espresso to at breakfast? Spending a few hours in their presence isn't earth-shaking, but it is interesting.
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