A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series presents a quasi-realistic view of local politics and political campaigns that includes the message that something good (in this case, a qualified candidate) is something worth fighting for against all odds. Also, that sacrifice is necessary but difficult when fighting the good fight. There's a message that sometimes you have to play dirty to win.
Positive Role Models
Characters have passion for government and for affecting change. Although their work is ultimately toward the greater good, the campaign staffers engage in occasional subterfuge to gain ground on opponents. Their lifestyle is obsessively centered around the campaign, sometimes to the detriment of their family or their health.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional good-natured mocking and jokes at the expense of other characters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters have a secret romantic connection that is kept from others; they engage in heavy makeout sessions. Occasional sexual banter between characters.
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Occasional use of "damn" and "hell," with rare occurrence of words like "piss."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Campaign employees frequently drink heavily in social settings as part of relaxing after a hard day; occasional drug references.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this documentary-style series isn't aimed at kids, though teens interested in politics might get something out of it. There are definitely some mixed messages in the depiction of both the idealism and harsh realities of local political campaigns. On one hand, the workers selflessly sacrifice their social lives and better salaries in favor of working tirelessly for a candidate they are passionate about. On the other hand, their lifestyle embraces occasional overindulgence in alcohol, a casual attitude toward sexual encounters, and outright deception in the name of political victory. For older kids able to understand the complexities of such a depiction, the idealism of the series shines through strongly.
Is It Any Good?
The first original scripted series from online content provider Hulu, Battleground takes a rough but ready approach to its half-hour mockumentary format. It features unknown actors that are able to shine within the loose production style; it seems likely that the "fake documentary" approach helps cover up any possible deficiencies due to a small budget.
What Battleground lacks in network polish, it makes up in wit and spirit, using its format to cleverly suggest the evolution of characters through a series of talking-head interviews that take place four weeks after the events of the campaign. Taking a page out of The West Wing's playbook, the show delves deep into the sausage-making behind every political candidate, depicting the heady mix of frantic energy, sexual tension, occasional brilliance, and frequent exhaustion that campaign employees experience. But like The West Wing, Battleground is also hopeful about American politics and government.
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.