A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Aside from characters occasionally helping each other, the dystopian series is pretty light on positive themes and messages.
Positive Role Models
Some characters share strong bonds with family and friends, but their numerous flaws are far more prevalent than their positive traits.
Violence & Scariness
Gun violence, accompanied by blood and some gore. A character who presumably jumped to his death lies in a pool of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters frequently engage in sexual activities, from intercourse to orgies. Nudity includes a man's buttocks and a woman's breasts. Sex is a regular topic of conversation among characters. The show's fictional society forbids monogamy, so sexual themes are strong throughout.
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Strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "d--khead," and "balls" are occasionally used. Middle-finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
The series is based on a book that's been adapted a number of times since its publication.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A fictional drug called "soma" is regularly taken by characters to maintain emotional happiness. While it's consumed frequently -- and is central to the story -- its consumption is pretty innocuous (characters pop the pills like breath mints). Characters occasionally drink in social situations.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Brave New World is a science fiction drama series based on Aldous Huxley's landmark novel published in 1932. Monogamy is forbidden in the show's dystopian society, so sexual intercourse -- including orgies -- is a regular occurrence. Profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "balls," and "d---khead," is also used frequently. A middle-finger gesture also appears in the first episode. Characters regularly take a drug, in pill form, to control their emotions. The show also features gun violence and suicide, both accompanied by blood and gore.
Is It Any Good?
This TV adaptation attempts to put a fresh spin on the dystopian, sci-fi drama genre. And while fans of Black Mirror, Westworld, and The Handmaid's Tale will note some familiar elements, Brave New World generally succeeds in charting new, if somewhat shallow, territory within the genre. The introduction of New London, a futuristic society that prohibits privacy, monogamy, and traditional family units, is immediately compelling, as is its strict caste system and reliance on antidepressants that are dispensed like Pez candy. That said, Brave New World also wastes no time showcasing its preference for style -- and sex -- over substance. If you're craving a deep, nuanced interpretation of the source material, you'll likely check out after the first orgy scene.
If you survive all the beautiful, writhing bodies, however, you'll find that the story gains steam when New London residents Bernard (Harry Lloyd) and Lenina (Jessica Brown Findlay) begin to question their place in this "perfect" society. Despite unlimited access to no-strings sex and happy pills, they're forever changed following a visit to the Savage Lands Adventure Park. A tourist destination celebrating the old/real world -- where visitors can watch reenactments of shotgun weddings and Black Friday shoppers assaulting each other -- the Savage Lands is also home to John (Alden Ehrenreich) and his hard-drinking mother, Linda (Demi Moore). The setup of both worlds, as well as their denizens' lives, provides a fantastic hook, but it's the consequence-filled convergence of the characters' paths that'll ultimately reel you in. While it leans more toward late-night guilty pleasure viewing than thought-provoking art, Brave New World still offers a satisfying binge that fans will eat up.
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.