A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Breathe is an India-set crime story that deals with some pretty heavy topics: terminal illness, the death of a child, alcoholism, guilt, regret, and murder. The acting is solid, but as this is an Indian production, all the dialogue is subtitled, which may not be for everyone. Mature teens who aren't sensitive to the subject matter will find a dark exploration of the lengths a parent will go to to protect a child and the depths they can sink to when they fail. It also brings up interesting points about organ donation, which is something families can discuss with their teens.
What's the story?
BREATHE focuses on two men and the lengths to which they each go to get what they want. Mumbai cop Kabir is haunted by the death of his daughter and has turned to alcohol to cope, while Danny's a widowed but cheerful high school soccer coach with a young son, Josh, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. When Danny discovers his son has only six months to live and is unlikely to find an organ donor with his rare blood type, he decides to start killing organ donors to move Josh's name up the organ recipient list. As Kabir starts investigating the series of murders committed by Danny, it's only a matter of time until the two men cross paths.
Is it any good?
Well-made, well-acted, and engrossingly told, this series is a fast-paced crime story that manages to devote plenty of time to developing its main characters. The creators of Breathe know they're dealing with heavy subject matter here and treat it with the gravity it deserves, never letting it fall into exploitation or melodrama. While we've seen haunted cops and desperate fathers before, there's a unique quality to these performances that keeps the show from feeling like something we've seen a million times. It's not perfect in every way; some of the flashbacks are a little heavy-handed and a few plot holes may stretch credibility (e.g., how many days of work can Danny miss in order to meticulously stalk his victims and plan their often complex murders?), but the story's so compelling that it earns your willing suspension of disbelief.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about organ donation, which is at the core of Breathe. Do you think people should donate their organs? Why or why not?
Are we supposed to like Danny? Is he a sympathetic character or is he a villain? What would you do if you were in his situation?
How do Danny and Kabir deal with guilt? What are some healthy ways to process complex feelings?