A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
It's tough to glean positive messages in a narrative in which characters use violence as a means to gain their end. Still, this series does present powerfully sympathetic portraits of Native history.
Positive Role Models
Characters lack nuance and it's difficult to understand what they want and why they go about getting it in negative ways. Maya is a tough, strong, and wily woman who is also deaf and uses a prosthetic leg and foot, but she's hardly a role model as a wanton murderer.
Main character is a Native American woman who wears a prosthetic foot and is deaf; she uses ASL to communicate with other characters (words appear in subtitles on-screen). Many other characters sign, or sometimes an ASL interpreter is used so characters can communicate. Most other main characters also have Native heritage.
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Violence & Scariness
Violence is frequent and often committed against faceless villain types who are hooded or otherwise have their identity obscured. Expect scenes in which people are stabbed, shot, have their throats slashed, with blood but no gore. Characters we've gotten to know are suddenly killed. A young girl loses her mother in a car accident (we see the moment of impact, with flying glass and metal); later, her father is murdered in front of her. In general, characters use violence to settle scores. Expect lots and lots of hand-to-hand combat and battle scenes with murder and death. Main character Maya is a contract killer; we see her committing many acts of violence.
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Cursing includes "ass" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer at gatherings; no one acts drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Echo is a Marvel TV series that continues the story of characters originally introduced in Hawkeye. It has mature content and frequent bloody violence. People are stabbed, shot, and sliced, with spouting, pooling blood. Characters that viewers have gotten to know are killed without mercy, and deaths can be sudden and intense. Main characters murder others without remorse; there's also a great deal of hand-to-hand combat with many battle scenes, and characters are in frequent mortal danger. Swearing isn't frequent but includes uses of "ass" and "hell." The show is centered on a Native American deaf woman, Maya Lopez/Echo, who uses ASL to communicate and uses a prosthetic leg and foot; Alaqua Cox, the actor who plays the character, also has these characteristics. Her Native heritage is woven into the plot of the narrative sympathetically and powerfully, and some scenes use an ASL interpreter to help characters talk (and help audience members understand what's being said).
Is It Any Good?
Fitfully thrilling but uneven, this limited Marvel series fleshes out the backstory of an intriguing character in ways both beautiful and frustrating. When it's good, Echo shows viewers something powerful and new, and the best sequences are those that show native Choctaw people in various historical periods: the 13th century, the 18th century, the legend of their origin, and the present day. Gorgeously filmed scenes show the generational trauma that adds fuel to Maya's rage and make a strong case for her need for vengeance. In other moments, Echo takes the time to show us what Maya, a deaf character, experiences. The sound drops out and all we can hear in the midst of mayhem is Maya's pounding heartbeat.
With good stuff like that in the package, Echo's bumpiness is more noticeable. The first episode packs a metric ton of exposition, and then the next episodes drag while nothing much happens. And though it's wonderful to have a show that stars an actor who is deaf, uses a prosthetic, and communicates by signing, viewers could use a little help getting inside Maya's head and unpacking her motivations. As it is, though Echo is both interesting and arresting, it's not as good as it could be, and that's a shame.
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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.
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