A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers learn in intimate detail how law enforcement handles kidnapping in various countries, how hostage negotiation works, and other topics of civic and historical interest.
Victims and criminals are each given space to tell their stories, which are related in an evenhanded, non-sensationalistic manner.
Positive Role Models
Captive takes pains to point out who acted heroically and thoughtfully when responding to crises by including praise for certain people in survivor interviews.
Violence & Scariness
The focus of the show is on kidnapping and captivity. Every episode involves weaponry and often death; we see dead bodies on-screen with blood and sometimes gore, often in vintage news footage and newspaper photographs. Family members of the kidnapped are interviewed, sometimes piteously grieving the loss of their loved ones.
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Some episodes have more cursing than others. Some have multiple unbleeped four-letter words ("f--k," "s--t," "motherf---er"), others have only a "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs are mentioned in a criminal justice context.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Captive is a gripping docuseries about real people who were kidnapped and held captive. News footage and reenactments show material that's potentially very disturbing: dead bodies, blood and gore, shadowy figures brandishing guns, blindfolds, beatings. Grieving family members who have lost loved ones cry piteously on-screen; interviews with survivors combined with vintage footage drives home the fact that these events really occurred and terrible things happen. Some episodes have a lot of iffy language, with multiple unbleeped four-letter words and curse-littered threats. Others have very little cursing save for the odd "damn." Drugs are mentioned in a criminal justice context.
Is It Any Good?
Thorough research and reporting uncovers the kind of throat-clutching detail that true-crime fans will particularly respond to in this smart but dark series. Each of the events spotlighted in Captive made the news, but unless you're a world news completist, you probably haven't heard of many of these incidents, which makes the retellings all the more gripping: Will these people make it out alive? And in one piece? When they do, it's cathartic. When they don't, haunting.
Viewers may find themselves Wikipedia-ing the details of each story to find out more, but you won't get much further than what Captive has shown you. This is an eminently binge-worth series, but parents should consider carefully whether teens should watch, since some of the material is quite unsettling. If you allow it, you may want to watch along to reassure them that they're safe in their own home and everything they're seeing has long been resolved.
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.