A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Like a lot of Stephen King works, it deals with characters attempting to live morally in an often amoral universe. Positive messages aren't always overt, but come up -- e.g., in the fight for a prisoner's rights, or when characters try to reconcile past wrongs.
Positive Role Models
Main characters are all deeply flawed, but there's opportunity for the leads to have redemptive arcs.
Violence & Scariness
Bursts of violence (a gunfight, a suicide), but most of the horror is psychological.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex is present beyond maybe some flirting.
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Occasional bursts of profanity: "f--k," "s--t," "damn."
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Products & Purchases
No consumerism present, except for being promotion for Stephen King's books.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters hang out and drink in bars, but no one drinks to excess.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Castle Rock is a psychological horror drama about a town where many of Stephen King's most famous novels and short stories have taken place. King and producer J.J. Abrams seem to be testing the waters to see if an extended Stephen King universe can support a franchise, the way that Marvel and Star Wars do, for example. There are references to other Stephen King works -- Cujo, The Shawshank Redemption, etc. -- though you don't need to be familiar with them to enjoy this show. It most closely resembles a detective show, with most scenes revolving around conversation or investigation, and a few flurries of action and intense violence. That said, for a show built around tension, it's surprisingly light on other edgy material, but there are occasional bursts of profanity: "f--k," "s--t," "damn."
Is It Any Good?
Storywise, this series is mostly boilerplate Stephen King material: a story about a mysterious outsider who may have supernatural powers that may or may not erupt in violence and tragedy. But Hulu has clearly invested a lot into Castle Rock, beginning with a killer cast of TV character actors like Holland, Lynskey, Scott Glenn (The Leftovers), Terry O'Quinn (Lost), and the legendary Sissy Spacek, who helped jumpstart Stephen King's movie career with her performance in Carrie. And their presence is needed, because Castle Rock consists mainly of conversations and investigation, the way a detective show would, as we slowly learn more and more about the extensive, eerie history of the town. The slow, deliberate pace does create a good amount of tension, and when things erupt, King's stories deliver the unsettling and terrifying moments you'd expect.
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.