By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Slow-moving supernatural thriller just intense enough.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The science on this program is definitely wonky: A 12-year coma is said to be "one of the longest recorded in history" (in fact, a 12-year coma is not particularly unusual), and a man who came out of said coma had no brain or bodily damage (highly unlikely).
Holden is surrounded by a loving family: a kindhearted mom and dad and adoring younger brother with whom Holden has an especially close relationship. The show has some diversity in its supporting characters.
Positive Role Models
Holden acts bravely to protect family and friends, even when caught in the grip of a situation he doesn't understand. Some characters are duplicitous, with hidden motivations.
Violence & Scariness
Characters are in mortal danger from shadowy villains who use fists and guns to subdue anyone who crosses them. A character is shot point-blank in the head (he doesn't die); physical scuffles can get intense, with combatants hitting each other with objects such as a motorcycle helmet.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting and very mild talk about dating and how to attract a woman's attention (compliments are "key," says a character). Pictures of a woman in lingerie are found in a character's desk.
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Cursing, generally exclamatory: "puberty is a bitch," "what the hell." Occasionally, characters insult each other: "piss off," "ass-face."
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Products & Purchases
Fake brands of cereal, beer, and other groceries are made specially for the show. Real celebs and brands such as Oprah and Apple are mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drinking, mostly social, by adults and underage teens. A teen says, "I'm drunk," and giggles. A college student jokes that his parents' money is paying for "beer and weed." Men meet in a bar for beers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beyond is a drama about a teen who awakens from a coma with supernatural powers. He's being chased by shadowy villains who use violence, including guns, to accomplish their ends. A main character is shot point-blank in the head (he survives), and fistfights get intense. Cursing includes "hell," "bitch," "ass," and insults such as "ass-face." Adults and teens drink beer, and a teen says, "I'm drunk," and giggles. A woman is shown in lingerie in photographs. Imagery of otherworldly lights and fires may scare very young viewers, but overall, the show isn't too scary or gritty for teens, who will be intrigued by its supernatural aspects and young hero.
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Based on 4 parent reviews
Sex in nearly every episode
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All great till the dead fish
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What's the Story?
BEYOND begins on an ordinary night in an ordinary town, when two friends meet up to watch a meteor shower. One of the friends winds up getting in a motorcycle accident, sees an otherworldly light -- and wakes up years later from a coma. But Holden (Burkely Duffield) brought something back with him. Suddenly he has strange powers, not to mention a cabal of villains who are chasing him for reasons he doesn't understand. Holden's best friend, Kevin (Jordan Calloway), tells him to run, fast; a mysterious woman Holden meets in a mall, Willa (Dilan Gwyn), warns Holden to trust no one. But who are these people chasing Holden? What do they want? Why does Holden keep waking up in the woods where he saw the light? And what's the connection to Willa, whom Holden sees in terrifying visions?
Is It Any Good?
Intriguing and briskly plotted, this supernatural thriller is just spooky enough to grab teens' attention but not scary enough to give them nightmares. Beyond's central questions -- what happened to Holden out there in the woods, and who's after him now? -- are meaty enough to grip viewers and pull them in to await answers. At first, even Holden doesn't realize he has a little something extra; he just thinks he's a regular guy who happened to lose part of his life while unconscious. But was he? While he was out, Willa tells him, he wasn't really "out." He was with her. Doing what, exactly? Something that makes a whole bunch of creepy henchmen chase after him, for reasons that will slowly be revealed.
But mysteries aren't intriguing without compelling characters, and Beyond takes its time sketching them out. Is Kevin a sweet, normal husband, father, and guidance counselor? Or has he been plotting against Holden all along? Is Holden's little brother Luke (Jonathan Whitesell) around to help Holden? Or to keep an eye on him? Does Holden's adoring mom Diane (Romy Rosemont) know more about Holden's coma than she's letting on? And just who is Willa, and what gives her the ability to communicate with those seemingly lost in unconsciousness? Beyond is artful enough to keep viewers watching as it slowly, slowly unspools its riddles.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the appeal of supernatural stories such as Beyond. Why do you think characters with powers like Holden's are popular right now? Do you enjoy stories that bring the impossible to life? Why, or why not?
How do special effects enhance our experience of stories such as this one? Do you think these were well done?
- Premiere date: January 2, 2017
- Cast: Burkely Duffield, Romy Rosemont, Michael McGrady
- Network: Freeform
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 26, 2022
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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