Deadtime Stories

 
Horror anthology's lighter fright still scary for some kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Each story opens with a book being read to a couple of very attentive kids, reminding viewers of the fun of sharing stories. The show explores some potentially scary experiences, many of which the kids tackle without supervision. 

Positive role models

Kids are the stars of the show and usually wind up solving problems without adult input. Often parents come off as clueless and unwilling to take their kids' fears seriously.

Violence

The show deals more in spooky and creepy than it does in violence, but the scares can be very real for some kids. Some topics include a haunted mirror with mystical powers, mythical beasts roaming a quiet neighborhood, angry ghosts, and giant poisonous spiders that can't be killed. The characters –- all kids –- are shown frightened and in some cases fearful for their lives.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

No cursing, but some instances of "shut up," "butt," "stupid," and the like.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Deadtime Stories is an anthological horror series for tweens whose content is difficult to predict because each episode presents a different story. Topics range from monstrous killer insects to beasts in half-human form stalking kids, and there's always a strong element of fear. Because the line between fantasy and reality is intentionally blurred (more so in some stories than in others), it can cause some angst in those kids who can't differentiate between the two. For older ones, though, the show is a fun spine-tingler that steers clear of any worrisome violence or language.

What's the story?

Ghost stories and other creepy tales come to life in DEADTIME STORIES, a reimagining of a 1986 horror movie of the same name. The series stars Jennifer Stone as a baby-sitter who reads scary stories to her young charges before bedtime each night. As she reads, the show cuts away to a dramatization of each standalone tale; they center on spooky or mysterious happenings like the reincarnation of dead pets, vengeful ghosts, or a haunted mirror with strange powers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In the vein of Goosebumps, Deadtime Stories can be a good trial run on middle-of-the-road scares for tweens who have outgrown animated spooks but aren't ready for the heavier stuff. Violence is pretty much nonexistent, and the special effects are just immature enough that tweens will see through them, plus Stone's presence always keeps the tone lighthearted and humorous.

As with any anthological series with a consistently changing focus, it's important to check out the content of each episode before giving your kids the go-ahead. For some, the idea of giant animatronic bugs might be a thrill; for others, it's bound to induce some nightmares. Knowing your kid's particular sensitivities is a must if this kind of show is on her radar.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why being scared is sometimes fun. Do you like the feeling? What kinds of stories and characters are scariest for you?

  • How are role models portrayed in this show? Are the adults attentive to the kids' concerns? To whom can your kids turn if an issue arises for them at school? In extracurricular activities? Remind them about "safe" adults in public places as well.

  • Use the show's tie-in to shared story time to inspire the same activity within your family. What kinds of books appeal to all the ages in your home? If your kids are of reading age, share the duties with them, and talk about how you envision the story as you hear it. How do your versions compare?

TV details

Cast:Jennifer Stone
Network:Nickelodeon
Genre:Drama
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Deadtime Stories was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byCDG November 14, 2013
age 9+
 

A little intense, but overall good scary stories

A little intense, but overall good scary stories.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Kid, 8 years old November 11, 2013
age 7+
 

thums up!

i think it can be for anybody as long as they can handel it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old October 21, 2013
age 8+
 

Fun and a little scary

It was good. Some shows are scarier than others. They try to make it less scary by showing that it is just a story being read from a book.

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