Charlie Jade

 
Parallel universe sci-fi is too intense for kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The people in the show's world are born into a fairly rigid caste system, and their rating classification plays an important role in defining their life. It's possible, but very difficult, to move from one to another. This world seems to be controlled by powerful business interests rather than a government; the wealthy often treat those in lower classes badly, and the law does little to prevent this abuse.

Violence

A fair number of action sequences, including gunfights, fistfights, bombs, car chases, etc. Some characters die, though there's little blood or gore. Some scenes might be too intense for younger kids, including shots in a morgue featuring dead bodies. There's also a disturbing rape scene.

Sex

No nudity, but some scenes clearly suggest sexual activity.

Language

Not much swearing. "Crap" is about as bad as it gets.

Consumerism

No endorsements for any products or companies in our universe, but a key part of the plot concerns the efforts of Vexcor, a massive corporation in a parallel universe that's determined to exploit this one.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters are shown drinking at night clubs and in other social situations. One villain sometimes slips drugs into women's drinks. Charlie Jade regularly takes a special drug designed to inhibit his psychic visions.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi series has lots of action sequences, as well as a good bit of violence, drinking, and sex. The main character's exploits in the underworld sometimes include scenes that could be tough for younger teens, including rape, murder, and images of dead bodies in a morgue. Because the show involves frequent traveling back and forth between parallel universes, it can get confusing. Some characters know when they're shifting to another universe, but others don't and are clearly baffled. The portals to the various universes are controlled by a powerful company that seems to be above the law. Characters in the show's world are born into a rigid class system.

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What's the story?

Private investigator CHARLIE JADE is a man trapped between worlds. While trying to solve the murder of a young woman whose name doesn't appear in any known database, Jade (Jeffrey Pierce) discovers that the powerful Vexcor Corporation has developed a way to steal natural resources from parallel universes. Jade realizes that people can also move between these alternate worlds, and he teams up with Reena (Patricia McKenzie), a woman from one of them, to stop Vexcor. Their investigation is hampered by the rigid caste structure in Jade's home world, the Alpha Verse, where everyone is born into a designated social class. Vexcor's wealthy corporate masters sit at the very top and are seemingly above the law -- especially Boxer (Michael Filipowich), the son of Vexcor's founder, who's not above kidnapping women from the neighboring Beta Verse.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The series does an admirable job of developing its three similar-but-distinct worlds, though all of them seem very familiar. Jade's home in the Alpha Verse -- a chaotic, dystopian future in which wealth trumps law and everyone can be electronically tracked at any time -- feels a lot like the visions of the future famously created in Blade Runner and Minority Report. The slightly-less-advanced Beta Verse -- well, that's got to be Earth, today. And the lush and beautiful Gamma Verse is clearly an undeveloped paradise, unspoiled by technology and ready to be pillaged by Vexcor.

Charlie Jade deserves credit for starting with a unique premise, but the execution of the parallel-universe concept makes it seem like so many other sci-fi movies and TV shows, complete with a roguish-but-caring hero, a nefarious corporate villain, and a host of assorted supporting characters straight from central casting. It's not all that original, but it's entertaining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about class structure. In the show's world, people are born with a specific ratings classification that's very hard to change. Do you think such a caste system is common in other science fiction or fantasy TV shows or movies? Are they usually defined this explicitly, or do the class divisions exist below the surface? Do you think a similar structure exists in our own world? Why or why not?

TV details

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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Adult Written byelfie April 9, 2008
Adult Written byDontlk April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Cutting edge

Intelligent, extraordinary and truly intriguing. I've never seen a science-fiction TV show like this before... Truly the best TV show I've ever seen. Something new, unique and cutting-edge, milestone show of the new millenium.

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