Dark Net

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Dark Net TV Poster Image
Disturbing docuseries exposes the Web's darkest secrets.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The tone is dark, ominous -- and slightly cautionary. But while some subjects ask thoughtful questions about the ways in which technology has crossed the line, overall the show feels more like voyeurism than criticism.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most subjects are operating on the fringes of society. Their questionable choices range from delusional to disturbing, and most see nothing wrong with the ways they spend their time.


Violence is mostly implied but includes descriptions of sexual harassment, cyberstalking, "rape fantasies," and other disturbing online behavior; one episode that deals with BDSM includes brief shots of a woman being spanked and sexually tortured, albeit voluntarily; another discusses the possibility of printing guns using 3-D technology.


Actual sex acts occur on camera and include anything from bondage to masturbation, though there's no penetration; bare breasts and other provocative imagery, such as a brief shot of a man wearing a chastity cage.


Audible cursing isn't constant but includes "f--k," "s--t," "asshole," and the like.


Websites and apps mentioned by name include FetLife.com, LovePlus, MyEx.com, and Dangerous Things.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking; some subjects smoke cigarettes.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate