By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gritty sci-fi series targets teens with blood and realism.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series explores the darker side of human nature in the face of catastrophe and whether people will choose to work collectively or selfishly for their own survival. It's much more complicated than "good" vs. "evil" -- and there's no clear winner.
Positive Role Models
The characters we're meant to root for aren't perfect, but in comparison to obvious villains they feel like heroes.
Violence & Scariness
Dead bodies and visible blood, along with pistol-whippings, beatings, and collisions; painful, high-risk childbirth; some characters use guns (and excessive force) to gain power.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A teen character is pregnant.
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Teen characters use words such as "dick," "ass," and "pissed off."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking; a secondary character smuggles drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Between centers on a group of young adults (age 21 and younger) who survive a mysterious plague of unknown origin. The virus causes victims to bleed from their mouths and die; you'll also see physical violence (including pistol-whipping) and characters who use weapons to seize power. One of the main characters is a very pregnant high schooler who plans to give her baby up for adoption; other teen characters use words such as "pissed off' and "dick," and a secondary character sells drugs.
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Mysterious and Thrilling
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What's the Story?
When a mysterious virus hits the small town of Pretty Lake, the government imposes a quarantine that effectively turns the survivors into prisoners, dashing pregnant teen Wiley Day's (Jennette McCurdy) hopes of giving her baby up for adoption and leaving the past behind. Meanwhile, Wiley's tech-savvy friend, Adam (Jesse Carere), has uncovered a curious fact about the virus: It only targets those 22 and over. Now, it's up to those BETWEEN the ages of 0 and 21 to figure out the rules of their frightening new reality.
Is It Any Good?
Although the initial premise is intriguing, in the end there's nothing spectacular about the way Between spins its story or shapes its characters, resulting in an average piece of entertainment aimed squarely at teens. The show plays so much like a young adult novel that it's hard to believe it isn't based on one. On the plus side, creator Michael McGowan's original story does breed some weighty themes to ponder amid all the teen angst, including whether the 21-and-under set could run the world if they had to -- or whether they'd effectively destroy it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Between's target audience. Is the show aimed at teens or adults, and how can you tell? How does it compare to other dramas with teen protagonists?
What would the world be like if teens and younger adults were in charge? How close does Between come to getting it right?
Does Between paint people as inherently good or inherently bad, particularly when faced with a crisis? Do you agree with the show's assessment of human nature?
- Premiere date: May 21, 2015
- Cast: Jennette McCurdy, Justin Kelly, Jesse Carere
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, High School
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: April 28, 2023
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.
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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