A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?