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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 Debris is a science fiction drama starring Riann Steele and Jonathan Tucker about the effects that pieces of a mysterious alien spaceship have on the residents of Earth. There are disturbing scenes of death, including victims falling off a balcony/from heights or phasing through/into a concrete pillar. Characters are put in catatonic states with blood dripping from their eyes. Guns are fired, and there's mention of suicide and verbal abuse. People mourn lost loved ones, including a child. A deadly car crash is also part of the narrative. The series has a philosophical focus on finding meaning in the chaos of life.
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What's the Story?
In DEBRIS, Riann Steele and Jonathan Tucker play Agents Finola Jones and Bryan Beneventi, who are tasked with finding fragments of an alien shipwreck that crashed on Earth, wreaking havoc. The world is still trying to understand the otherworldly science as Finola and Bryan work to recover the pieces and save the human victims who get caught in the wreckage's path.
Is It Any Good?
J.H. Wyman, known for cerebral, science-fiction/mystery dramas such as Fringe and Almost Human, continues dissecting humanity in Debris. The series plunks viewers in the aftermath of a mysterious alien spaceship crash, with the wreckage sprinkling around the world. Agents Finola Jones and Bryan Beneventi are tasked with collecting the fragments in the U.S., and through their work they begin to explore the state of humanity itself.
The series clearly owes a debt to The X-Files, down to having two agents on two sides of the belief spectrum -- Finola does believe in a higher power and an order to the universe, while Bryan doesn't. The differences in opinion doesn't give way to arguments though -- instead, it sparks deeper discussions about humanity's place in the universe, our connection to tougher emotions such as grief, and how to allow empathy and compassion to transform grief into personal power. Indeed, the series' premiere episode focuses exclusively on how grief can transform people into shells of their former selves if it gets out of control. Even though the show looks like a typical "problem of the week"-style, high-concept procedural and can be creepy at times, Debris is actually a meditation on how to engage with the messiness and chaos of the human experience.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Why has the wreckage caused Finola and Bryan to ponder life's meaning? How do Finola and Bryan handle grief? How do their emotional styles differ?
How has empathy and compassion helped Finola and Bryan do their job?
How has Finola and Bryan's pasts helped them access empathy for others?
- Premiere date: March 1, 2021
- Cast: Jonathan Tucker, Riann Steele, Norbert Leo Butz, Thomas Cardot
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
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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