A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
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.
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No cursing, but some instances of "shut up," "butt," "stupid," and the like.
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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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.