Clue

Common Sense Media says

Classic board game inspires tween-friendly mystery series.

Age

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Viewers see teens learn to set aside their differences to reach a common goal. Some mild bullying directed at a "nerdy" teen encourages him to stand up for himself and earn his peers' respect. Teamwork, respect, and perseverance are recurrent themes.

Positive role models

The teens combine their individual strengths to work as a team, and each emerges as a leader at some point throughout the story. There's diversity among the six-member main cast, and the bad guys are easily identifiable. On the other hand, with the exception of these villains, adults (including parents) are mostly absent from the show, which allows the teens an unrealistic level of freedom to get involved in solving a violent crime. On a few occasions the teens are identified by stereotypical terms like "jock" and "gossip," and their actions sometimes support these labels, but for the most part, they strive to work well with each other.

Violence

Actual violence is limited to a man being bludgeoned with a candlestick, which implies more than it shows. But a pervasive sense of danger clouds the characters' every move, and dramatic chase scenes make for some heart-pounding moments.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Occasional use of "butt." 

Consumerism

The show is sponsored by Hasbro, which makes the board game that inspired the story. Although the teens' given names differ from those in the board game, subtle references are made to the original characters throughout the show.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this five-part miniseries inspired by show sponsor Hasbro's classic board game Clue has strong messages about teamwork, friendship, and respect for others -- as demonstrated by an unlikely group of teens who come together to solve a crime. There's plenty of suspense and some heart-pounding drama during many scenes in which the teens are pursued by a pair of criminals, but actual violence is limited to the implied (it's not actually shown) beating of a man. The show challenges tweens to put together the pieces and solve the mystery along with the characters, so it's a great fit for those who love that kind of challenge.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

From the maker of the world's most famous \"whodunnit?\" board game comes a five-part miniseries loosely based on the game's concepts and characters. CLUE opens as a group of teens witnesses a violent crime perpetrated with (what else?) a candlestick on an unnamed man in a hotel room ... but when the authorities arrive to investigate, there's no trace of a struggle or a victim. With nowhere else to turn, the six teens decide to solve the mystery themselves, and as their investigation uncovers a series of puzzles and unearths a secret society, they learn some shocking truths about their own destinies and their relationships to one another.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The decades-old crime-solving board game has withstood a mediocre movie, international TV game shows, and a series of thematic spin-off games that bear its name, but no one's ever attempted a drama series based on Professor Plum and his cronies. It takes some gumption to toy with a classic anything, and Clue is no exception to that rule. Happily, this miniseries does a good job of modernizing the characters and plot to appeal to a young audience while still retaining some ties to the original. The story incorporates the game's iconic weapons and assigns the classic characters' personalities to the cast members in subliminal ways (the color of a shirt or an affiliation with a particular club, for instance) that sometimes feel a little forced but are still fun for viewers who are familiar with the game.

 

Clue makes a real effort to show the diverse characters setting aside their preconceptions about each other and learning to work as a team. And puzzle buffs will enjoy piecing together the clues the teens find and trying to solve the crime along with the characters. Unlike in the board game, the villains and the weapon are recognizable; it's the "why?" that's the real mystery, and the discovery process is full of unexpected twists and turns. The result? An enticing blend of drama and mystery that will have tweens postulating about how all the clues fit together to answer that question.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about relating to others. Have you ever forged a friendship with someone who was very different from you? How did you connect? Has that relationship changed your perspective in any way?

  • Kids: What tactics do you use when you're faced with a problem to solve? Do you ever ask for help from other people? How does having another person's perspective improve the situation? How do you overcome differences of opinion when you're working with a team?

  • How does this show compare to the board game? Do you think it should have related to the game more or less than it did? Does seeing the show make you want to play the game itself? How does product placement work as advertising? Do you think that's one of the intentions of this show?

TV details

This review of Clue was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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Parent Written byJesse S November 26, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

CLUE is fun and well written

Honestly the show had nothing to do with the board game - it was a great mystery series with good writing and interesting puzzles. It doesn't talk down to kids and can even keep a parent interested. No product placement and vague conceptual references to the game, but this is not an overt attempt a marketing the game - it's a good show.
Parent Written byNancy35 November 16, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Hasbro TV Strikes Again!

All they want you to do is buy the board game - Hasbro TV!

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