Parents' Guide to

Breakout

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Jailbreak reality series glamorizes violent criminals.

Breakout Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Breakout

I enjoyed the show a lot. The reenactments are not cliche at all, and the stories these inmates tell are both intense and thought provoking.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Breakout must be meant as a cautionary tale, showing the folly of trying to escape the long arm of the correctional system. But it faces a nearly insurmountable problem: creating the kind of drama needed to make the show entertaining forces the viewer to side with the criminals. Rooting for the guards would be too dull, but pulling for the escapees makes no sense, because these are bad people. They are behind bars for a reason, and their escape plans sometimes leaves guards injured, or worse. In their after-the-fact interviews, the escapees seem to show remorse for their actions, but it's hard to take them seriously. Does anyone expect them to say anything else?

Jailbreaks are a classic movie genre; the plans are complex, there's so many things that can go wrong, there's a lot on the line. It's hard to make a bad breakout show. But there's a reason most of them are about prisoners of war. The viewer needs to empathize with the escapees, to hope they get out. But that's hard to do with real criminals. The series is well crafted, and the stories are dramatic -- it's just tough to make this topic into entertainment.

TV Details

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