Parents' Guide to

Dirty John

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

True crime podcast turned drama is creepy to the max.

TV Bravo Drama 2018
Dirty John Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Really good for who is going from that problem not good for kids because of the trauma it causes and bad behaviour and makes believe some what that its ok to do what he did when in reality its really not they should be more justice in thesse maters

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (3):

The story's transition from true crime podcast to TV series is mainly a smooth one, even if the adaptation does trade a bit of the original story's suspense for a fluffier, Real Housewives-type vibe. The cast is Dirty John's greatest strength, with Bana perfectly capturing the dead-eyed, hot-and-cold "charm" of a career criminal and master manipulator. Britton is his ideal mark as affluent, oblivious Debra, a romantic at heart who is all too willing to overlook the multiple warning signs that are instantly obvious to viewers at home.

The story may have all the trappings of a Lifetime-style "stalker of the week" flick, but the series itself doesn't ever tip that deeply into camp, perhaps due in part to it being a true story that started as a piece of investigative journalism. The closest it comes to feeling like one of those guilty pleasures is in watching Debra's headstrong daughters, all blonde hair and vocal fry, who -- at least in Veronica's case -- seem equally angry at her mom for shifting her focus off her and onto a new man, and for being so frustratingly heedless of John's very real sketchy side. A nuanced portrayal of abusive men and relationships this isn't, but the principals involved make it worth giving a shot.

TV Details

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