Electric City

Common Sense Media says

Tom Hanks-backed web series explores a violent dystopia.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The plot explores the relationship between power and control, freedom and sacrifice in a way that comments on the roles of government and humanity as a whole.

Positive role models

In the beginning, Carr is a hired assassin and far from role model material, but as the story develops he begins to question his actions and struggles with right or wrong.

Violence

Carr goes after his targets with ferocity, snapping necks, shooting, and even blowing up a building killing the people inside. The killing is graphic and scenes sometimes linger on gruesome images. The violence isn't nonstop, but the calm surrounding the brutality makes it more jarring.

Sex

Some flirting and romance.

Language

Occasional language: "s--t," "damn," and "bitch."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some characters share alcoholic beverages together and a few characters are seen smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that know that while Electric City is an online animated series, it's targeted more toward adults than kids or even young teens. The five-minute episodes are jam packed with mature themes, like political revolution, torture, totalitarianism, and sudden graphic violence -- including neck-snapping and blood. There are also a few scenes where adult characters are shown drinking together or lighting up a cigarette. 

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

In the future, humanity lives in a grim society where the most valuable resource is electricity. Sheltered from the harsh outside world this ELECTRIC CITY requires the contribution of every citizen in order to survive, and freedoms such as open communication, trading, and traveling have been outlawed by the city’s leaders simply known as the "Knitting Society." As rebellion against them becomes more frequent, Cleveland Carr (voiced by Tom Hanks), a grid agent, is hired by the Knitting Society to extinguish anyone who breaks the city’s laws.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Electric City has a unique look and feel along with a well-conceived dystopian world that makes it compelling to watch. While the violence can be jarring, it serves the purpose of illustrating how dangerous and grim this future society has become. As the seeds of rebellion spread, viewers are challenged to take sides, but with fleshed out and likeable characters on both sides, it's easy to become involved in their struggles, and less easy to distinguish right from wrong.

Unfortunately, the limitation of five-minute episodes can sometimes mean events are so compressed it's difficult to follow the story without rewatching key scenes. Cleveland Carr, while an interesting character, takes a while to develop and, at least initially, takes a backseat to some of the supporting characters such as Hope Chatsworth (Jean Tripplehorn) or Roger Moore (Tara Sands). Ultimately this thought-provoking web series targeted at mature science fiction fans is worth a watch. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about each character's motivation. What makes a person who he is -- his past or something essential inside?

  • Does the series have a stance on what's right and wrong?

  • What's the appeal of dystopian stories? Can you think of others in movies, TV, or literature? What makes a successful dystopian story?

TV details

Cast:Holland Taylor, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tom Hanks
Network:Yahoo
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of Electric City was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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 byShivom Oza August 25, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Eclectic Episodes In An Intriguing Web Series - Shivom Oza

‘Electric City’ is a web-series comprising 20 web episodes adding up to 90 minutes, is set in a dystopian future. Dystopian civilization, where the electricity and communication is controlled by the law-enforcement, is on the brink of revolt from its citizens. Planet Earth has become a dangerous place after an innocuous doomsday-like event. The principal character Cleveland Carr (Tom Hanks), a former police officer, is handed over the reins of maintaining law and order in the chaotic city. Electric City has become a symbol of peace and security. However, the security comes at a premium. The AMP, a security force that looks after the city, keeps a tight vigil over two of the most significant resources of the land, electricity and wireless communication. The population is showing signs or discomfort over the rule, and a revolution is in store. The series is nuanced and well-developed. It is filled with questions about the choices we make. It also questions whether people would give up the need to sustain resources in order to break free from the shackles of the law enforcers. The Electric City is full of shades of grey. Its people are neither white nor black. They are controlled by a body that requires applications to allow childbirth. Even energy consumption is closely scrutinized. Resistance movements attempt to illegally tap into the main system and even begin creating something like wireless. Tom Hanks serves not only as the creative force behind the scenes of the dystopian series, but also lends his voice to its lead character, Cleveland Carr. ‘Electric City’ inculcates a map to show where each mini story takes place, quite similar to the opening sequence of ‘Game of Thrones’. It is indeed a very interesting concept, besides being dark in character. The stories in each episode move at such a brisk pace that it is difficult for the viewer to keep track of the proceedings. Same holds true for the characters, having to brush through 20 episodes, with no supporting character being present on the trot successively. ‘Electric City’ is an intriguing concept. Heartening to see the old-school hand-drawn animation after such a long time! As for the story, one would have to pay close attention at the proceedings to not lost track. The series is releasing in India on Bigflix (Reliance Entertainment). Adapting ‘Video-on-demand’ facility may bode well for this unique web series. Its noir content renders it as a must-watch for avid watchers of the genre. Shivom Oza
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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