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 the docuseries Dark Net sheds light on the dimly lit corners of the Internet, unearthing stories on everything from "revenge porn" and the webcam sex trade to bio-hacking and digital warfare. Content varies from episode to episode, but you'll see frank depictions of violent, sexual subcultures such as BDSM with brief nudity (from bare breasts to a caged penis), and hear unbleeped swearing (including "f--k"), along with seeing the URLs of some provocative websites. Subjects might be shown drinking socially or smoking cigarettes.
What's the story?
Structured as an eight-part docuseries, Showtime's DARK NET takes viewers into the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet to expose what's really going on online -- not only on the sites that pop up on major search engines. Topics range from BDSM social networking and pornography addiction to cyberterrorism and invasive bio-hacking. And that's only the beginning of the dark places technology can take us.
Is it any good?
Dark Net is a lot like the scene of an ominous accident: You don’t really want to see the blood and carnage, but you also can’t look away because a part of you wants to see how bad it gets. And so it is with these shocking tales of revenge porn, online cults, and other things you wish you'd never known about. Showtime is banking on the power of morbid curiosity to keep you watching, and you very well might. Though when you're done, you might need a Disney marathon to balance things out.
Humans made the Internet, and we've also made it what it is -- as amazing as it is terrifying. So knowing what it's become is as much a prescription for change as it is an inevitable sign of what's to come. Needless to say, this dark world is no place for kids, but parents who can stomach the show's disturbing realities can at least walk away knowing what they're up against.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Dark Net's stance on technology and its increasing importance in our lives. Where's the line when it comes to our virtual and physical lives, and how do we know when we've crossed it? Does the show take a position on whether the trend toward technology-assisted "connection" is a positive or negative one? What are the pros and cons?
Have mainstream social-networking tools such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter made us more or less connected on a human level? How have friendship, romance, and social interaction changed since the advent of the Internet?
Is a show like Dark Net something older teens could handle, or is it inappropriate? How could learning about the larger implications of online subcultures lead to meaningful takeaways? Or would it simply steer teens in a questionable direction?
Themes & Topics
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