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Das Boot

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Das Boot TV Poster Image
Slow and steady WWII drama aims for depth over flair.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though there are clear, historical good guys and bad guys, Das Boot is more interested in the human drama of the French resistance, rather than the ethics of it. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Das Boot spends a lot of time humanizing the German army during World War II without necessarily putting them into historical context. Presumably the actions of the French resistance will ultimately pay off on the show, but for the most part you need context to know who the actual role models are.

Violence

A wartime historical drama, Das Boot features the violence of war and many casualties. Men and women are frequently killed with guns, including one by a firing squad, and there are scenes where the German army tortures a prisoner.

Sex

A lot of sexual content, including female nudity and simulated sex.

Language

Some profanity, which also shows up in the subtitles: "f--k," "a--hole," "s--t," etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and sometimes smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Das Boot is a mostly subtitled historical drama set during World War II about the German army and French resistance. The show is a sequel to the 1981 German film of the same name, and uses some of the same source material to expand the story. The show does require some historical context, but can be enjoyed without having seen the film. Alongside adult themes such as the complexities of war, Das Boot features female nudity, simulated sex, and war violence that includes rape. Profanity includes "s--t" and "f--k."

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What's the story?

When one of their submarines is destroyed by American forces, the German army must send a new U-boat with an inexperienced crew to complete its mission. Meanwhile, German interpreter Simone Strasser (Vicky Krieps) discovers her enlisted brother is working with the French resistance, and her loyalty is tested from both sides. 

Is it any good?

The subject of the French resistance in World War II is ripe for a new audience, both because of its inherently dramatic stories of high-stakes espionage and because of how often the events of the war come up in contemporary political discussion. Das Boot is demanding of its viewers--in addition to the subtitles and deep cast to keep track of, it moves at a slow, steady, submarine's pace -- but, like other recent historical dramas like Chernobyl or Catch-22, it promises a similar dramatic (and relevant) payoff. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about World War II. What is the historical context in which Das Boot takes place? What was going on during the war at this time? What ideology does the German army represent? What does the French resistance represent?

  • Who are you rooting for on Das Boot? Why? What do the characters do that makes you like or dislike them?

  • What do you learn about submarines from Das Boot? What are the obstacles to commanding a submarine? To living on a submarine? How do the soldiers deal with these obstacles?

TV details

For kids who love history TV

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