Bloodline

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Bloodline TV Poster Image
Dark family drama is gripping, addictive -- and grim.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Major themes include family dysfunction, dishonesty, and secret keeping; some characters get away with murder.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the main characters are duplicitous to some degree, and several commit major crimes and cover them up; retribution is unclear.

Violence

Dead bodies, including blood and charred human remains; shootings and physical violence; a major plot point involving child abuse.

Sex

Simulated sex; partial nudity (for example, bare buttocks in a scene where a man is changing).

Language

Unbleeped language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "c--k," plus slang such as "circle jerk."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Realistic depictions of drinking and drug use. A major character has problems with substance abuse (alcohol, prescription pills, cocaine) and is heavily involved in drug trafficking; other major characters drink socially, often to excess (habitual day-drinking, shots); others smoke cigarettes and pot. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bloodline centers on a seemingly happy family that begins showing signs of serious dysfunction. Death and murder are frequent themes, so you'll see lifeless bodies, blood, and charred remains, along with fistfights, shootings, and other physical violence. Drug trafficking also factors heavily into the plot, and several characters have problems with substance abuse (alcohol, pot, cocaine); many of the main characters are heavy social drinkers, too. Unbleeped swearing includes “f--k” and “s--t,” and there’s some simulated sex and partial nudity (bare backs, buttocks). 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCathyF 1 March 13, 2016

Terrible show

Don't bother watching. The writing is bad! The show is stupid. Character development starts good and then the acting is ridiculous!
Adult Written byEasti W. June 3, 2017

Great show

Bloodline has the best acting I've seen in a very long time! 18 and up.
Teen, 13 years old Written byCrr101 June 29, 2016

Inappropriate

I think the is not appropriate for children my mother lets my 9 year old sister watch the crap
Teen, 13 years old Written byreveal June 16, 2016

Bloodline

The first season was outstanding.

What's the story?

As the longtime proprietors of a picturesque oceanfront inn, the Rayburns -- patriarch Robert (Sam Shepard), matriarch Sally (Sissy Spacek), dependable John (Kyle Chandler), carefree Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz), and peacekeeping Meg (Linda Cardellini) -- have a lot to be thankful for, including a successful business and an unassailable reputation in their idyllic Key West community. But when an anniversary celebration brings estranged eldest son Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) back into the fold, the family's BLOODLINE clogs with long-buried secrets that come bubbling back to the surface.

Is it any good?

One of the things this series does exceedingly well -- apart from serving as a showcase for stellar performances from its great cast -- is creating a palpable sense of place packed with blue skies, stunning shorelines, and balmy breezes that, when viewed from the comfort of your living room, feel so real that you start to pine for them. Contrast that with the series' darker themes of violence and retribution, and you've got an addictive mix of good and evil that's easy to OD on, which is precisely what its creators had in mind.

That said, Bloodline is more of a slow burn that takes its time divulging its secrets through creative storytelling, an approach that works well for binge watchers but might frustrate more traditional viewers who want their questions answered upfront. Nevertheless, it's one of Netflix's most intriguing offerings to date, presenting a complex tale of loss and family dysfunction with an ending you never quite see coming, no matter how soon you think you've got it figured out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about crime, punishment, and retribution and how Bloodline weighs in on the issue of justice. Do good intentions (or a terrible childhood) excuse bad choices? Is it possible to get away with murder if you factor in a guilty conscience?

  • How would Bloodline’s main characters rate as role models if you had to rank them from best to worst? Who's "right” and who's "wrong” -- and does it matter? Does everyone pay equally for their actions? 

  • How realistically does Bloodline handle the topic of child abuse and its lingering effects? Which other factors influenced Danny's choices and the course of his life?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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