Guilty-pleasure soap injects sex into Arthurian legend.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Loyalty, honor, and allegiance are the central tenants of King Arthur's rule. But those themes play out against an opposing message of ruthlessness and revenge.

Positive role models

Heroes and villains are clearly depicted. While Arthur and his supporters have positive aims to erect an honest kingdom of goodness and light, his enemies are shockingly ruthless in their pursuit of ultimate power.


Gruesome deaths are rarely accidental, resulting from murder and hand-to-hand combat. Blood is used for dramatic effect, but it isn't over the top. Allusions to rape.


Graphic depictions of simulated sex, gratuitous nudity (more female than male), and some sexual violence.


Unbleeped swearing includes "f--k." Other insults like "whore," "bitch," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking and occasional drunkenness.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this pay-cable period drama takes broad liberties with the Arthurian legend, using violence, graphic sex, and nudity to keep the familiar plot interesting. There's also strong, unbleeped language (including "f--k") and social drinking, typically shown in conjunction with bacchanalian, post-battle celebrations.

What's the story?

When the British throne is left vacant in the wake of King Uther's sudden death, Merlin the sorcerer (Joseph Fiennes) steps forward and uncovers a long-kept secret: The king actually had a son named Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), who's now the rightful heir to the crown. But installing a brash, young twentysomething as the once and future king of CAMELOT is no easy task, considering Arthur's treacherously beautiful half-sister, Morgan (Eva Green), is determined to seize power for herself.

Is it any good?


Whether a seductress is sporting an on-trend smoky eye or a villain is declaring "f--k this," Camelot isn’t aiming for historical accuracy. (And, yes, both things actually happen in the first episode.) But for all of its technical shortcomings, Camelot plays just fine as escapist fantasy fare for willing adults whose only expectations are to be entertained. Oh, and parents, be warned: This is nothing like The Sword in the Stone.

Of course, it hardly feels like a coincidence that the virtual unknown who plays King Arthur looks remarkably like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, whose petulant portrayal of a young Henry VIII helped propel Showtime’s sexually charged costume drama The Tudors into must-see territory. And although Fiennes isn't the Merlin we've come to expect -- there's no pointy hat or long, wispy beard to speak of -- his performance makes it pretty clear that he's in on the joke.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the original King Arthur legend and the liberties this series takes with the source material. Does adding sex and violence to an otherwise noble story damage its integrity, or merely make it popular for a new generation?

  • Is it important for a period drama to be historically accurate in term of costumes, characters, and language? How does this series measure up in terms of getting the details right?

  • How does this take on the King Arthur tale compare with other popular depictions of the legend in television and film? Do you think it's OK for older teens to watch?

TV details

Cast:Eva Green, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Fiennes
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byMr. Underhill June 8, 2011

It's fun, and fun is even better when you share it.

Does EVERYTHING we expo "se children to have to have "a positive message"--whatever that is? Life is full of ups and downs, and things often do not turn out as we plan. War is a global reality, the economy's terriffying, climate change is real. We need to prepare our children for those realities. If they see nothing but happy endings, they won't be prepared. I don't think children need more brutality and violence in their faces, but they do need to be taught that there are other ways of managing our problems. "Camelot" is good viewing for parents & children over 10 to watch and discuss together. What mistakes has Arthur made that could cost him his dream? Same question goes for Merlin. The world is full of Morgans, but those hurt, bitter, and vengeful people weren't born that way? How might Morgan and Arthur work out their differences? They really do have "Uther" issues, and that makes for common ground. I'm not writing an essay here; people can come up with plenty of material. But the key is to watch "Camelot" with your kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN May 18, 2011

A somewhat mature guilty pleasure for lovers of the medieval period.

Being a medieval show you'd think it would be full of gory sword fights and the like, but there really isn't. The violence isn't the reason it's rated MA. Sexual content and nudity are definitely the reasons for the rating. But when you're mature enough not to be perverted or anything like that then you should be good. There are some sex scenes, not in every episode though. Women's bare breasts are seen while they're dancing, bathing, in the act of sex, and, at one point, in a dream. The language isn't all that bad. I don't notice it. I love this show, I haven't missed an episode. Comments? Questions? Concerns? Email me: ogormanscommonsense at yahoo. :)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 17 year old Written bychazah September 24, 2013

Very violent, sex, and nudity

Just watched first episode of Camelot... won't be watching anymore! It had a lot of nudity and sex in it. The guy playing the role of King Arthur is a joke! A puny looking wimp... killed it for me! A complete miscast. He was too goofy and his hair always seemed to be very unclean and uncombed! He was not powerful enough and he just didn't make the role of Arthur believable at all. He's more like a gangly awkward teenager with acne. Now his foster brother, Kay, would have made a great King Arthur in this series, as he had more charisma, presence, looked more grown up and manly, and was far better looking too! It badly needed a stronger character for Arthur, as the lead character has to be very good otherwise you lose the whole series and its just a flop! It was also very aggressive and violent... this is NOT for kids at all! Even I didn't like it!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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