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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 Counterpart is a dramatic thriller about a man who discovers the coexistence of a parallel world. The spy agency-set series has lots of dark, mysterious moments that often lead to troubling ends like shootings and assassinations. There's some strong sexual innuendo, cursing, drinking (hard alcohol), and smoking.
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What's the story?
COUNTERPART is a dramatic thriller about a man who discovers the coexistence of a parallel world. Harry Silk (J.K. Simmons) is a low-level government staffer at a Berlin-based spy agency. His life is one of routine, in which he is loyal to his job and devoted to his ailing wife, Emily (Olivia Williams). But when agency director Peter Quayle (Harry Lloyd) and Aldrich (Ulrich Thomsen), the director of counterintelligence, introduce him to high-level spy Harold Prime (also played by Simmons), his counterpart in a parallel world, Silk is quickly caught up in a dark and complex web of espionage. Despite the efforts of Ian Shaw (Nicholas Pinnock) to keep the peace between the two worlds, tensions rise as mysterious operatives from the other side (played by Sara Serraiocco and Nazanin Boniadi) seek out targets. Throughout, Silk and Prime learn more about each other, and wonder how their lives are the same, and yet so very different.
Is it any good?
This dark series offers a compelling story with a Cold War vibe that's both interesting and mysterious. The fictional premise, which is rooted in historical rumors of obscure Nazi experimentation and metaphysical thought, raises questions about free will, destiny, and what ultimately determines someone's fate. Meanwhile, J.K. Simmons gives an outstanding performance as the counterparts, who are as much the same as they are different.
Counterpart requires viewers to pay close attention in order to fully appreciate the subtler details of the narrative. But while there's plenty of intrigue, it's not too hard to follow, thanks to the well-balanced pace at which information is revealed about the cast and the secrets they carry. Overall, Counterpart is an intriguing show that will leave you wanting to know more at the end of every episode, and possibly pondering some big questions about the nature of self.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Counterpart's premise. How did the existence of the "other side" come about? How has it survived so long without people knowing about it? How would your life change if there was "another you"?
Counterpart raises lots of questions about people's ability to control their fate versus living a life that's predetermined. What do you think?
For kids who love mysteries
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.