Burden of Truth

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Burden of Truth TV Poster Image
Legal drama has strong female lead, solid mystery.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Compassionate main character realizes that just because a cause doesn't involve you directly, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get involved and try to help.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Joanna Hanley is a smart, successful attorney who goes against the wishes of her father/boss and boyfriend by agreeing to seek justice for the girls affected by a mysterious medical condition.

 

Violence

Girls are shown having seizures, which some may find hard to watch; a character's car is forcibly run off the road; a dog is killed offscreen and its body is shown; a woman hits another woman in the face.

Sex
Language

"Damn," "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Discussion of teens possibly using inhalants to get high; adults drink wine and beer in a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Burden of Truth is a legal drama about a big-city corporate lawyer who returns to her small hometown to investigate why local girls are falling ill and exhibiting unexplained neurological seizures. Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) embodies the lead with confidence, intelligence, and sympathy. The show's mystery unfolds intriguingly, and overall the content is appropriate for family viewing with teens. If your young teens are looking to transition to more mature programming, this is a good option.

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What's the story?

Joanna Hanley (Kristin Kreuk) is the top attorney at her father’s big-city corporate law firm in BURDEN OF TRUTH. When a vaccine made by their client, a giant pharmaceutical company, is thought to be giving teen girls seizures, Joanna must return to the small town she grew up in, and that her family left under mysterious circumstances, to offer low-ball settlements to the families and avoid a lawsuit. Once there, she realizes the vaccines may not be responsible for the illnesses. But even though her corporate responsibilities are over, she decides to stay in town and investigate what exactly is making these girls sick.

Is it any good?

Surprisingly compelling, this series brings CW veteran Kristin Kreuk back to her small-town roots (she spent 10 years as Lana on the CW's Smallville). She's excellent as crusading lawyer Joanna Hanley, who returns to the hamlet of Millwood to solve one mystery but ends up finding another: why her family left this town in a hurry many years ago. The medical mystery is intriguing, and the plight of the affected girls is handled sensitively and with realistic teen emotion. Unfortunately, the personal drama involving Joanna's relationships with her father and boyfriend is much more predictable. That said, the Burden of Truth cast works well together, and Kreuk radiates compassion and intelligence that make her character's evolution from corporate stooge to committed justice seeker convincing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how small towns are depicted in TV shows. What are some traits they always have? Do you think it's accurate? Why do you think creators do this? 

  • How are families depicted in Burden of Truth? What are some of the unconventional families portrayed here? 

TV details

Themes & Topics

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