A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
One multiracial couple is featured; otherwise the characters are white. Two feuding doctors slowly come to appreciate each other. Teens from different walks of life form unlikely friendships; characters are praised for things like being reliable, loving, and kind. Teens may be amused by early 2000-isms: characters make mixed CDs for each other; computers are giant doorstops with desktop monitors.
Positive Role Models
The characters on this show are "TV complicated." They sometimes face ethical dilemmas (whether to be unfaithful to a partner, how much to intercede in a family member's life) and make mistakes, but they're forgivable mistakes and character are relatable and generally kind, honest, and loving to each other. If they do something wrong, they face consequences.
Violence & Scariness
In several episodes, a teenage boy experiencing the adverse effects of brain surgery has violent outbursts. Since many of the characters on the show are doctors, expect medical drama: characters injured (sometimes fatally) in accidents, health emergencies. One main character from the first season dies (off-screen), and another character blames himself for not saving his life. A boy in season 4 tries to commit suicide by taking a bottle of pills; we see him unconscious on the floor and his decision is discussed at length.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Only some kissing onscreen; much discussion of sexual issues, including unwanted teen pregnancy, young kids having sex, and a married women discovering her husband is gay. Several characters lose their virginity dramatically over the course of the series; the sex is depicted by kissing in bed and then a camera cut to the characters covered by sheets.
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Occasional mild cursing: "damn," "hell," "dick," "crap." Characters may use off-color phrases such as "the party's going to suck," "that's B.S.," or "grab life by the nuts and shake it."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking among high school students is shown but not advocated; a storyline debates the pros and cons of antidepressants. A villain in one season doses one young woman with GHB and winds up overdosing himself. Teens sneak into bars and clubs with fake ID, and drink from red Solo cups at parties. A doctor has an addiction to narcotics, which he successfully recovers from.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Everwood addresses mature themes: cancer, depression, parent-child clashes, homosexuality, unwanted pregnancy, peer pressure, suicide, and teen sex. Because several of the characters are doctors, expect to see medical drama -- health emergencies, sudden accidents (with the occasional small amount of blood but no gore), deathly ill patients who need a surgery that just might work. A major early plotline involves the death of a character; a later one takes on suicide, and we see the boy who took a whole bottle of sleeping pills unconscious on the floor (he survives). Several teens lose their virginity over the course of the series; the sex is shown by a couple kissing in bed then a cut to them in bed under sheets, talking about what just happened. One character in particular is a bit of a womanizer; he faces consequences for sleeping with women carelessly. The show flirts with sexual assault in one episode when a villainous character doses a girl with date-rape-drug GHB at a party; he overdoses himself before he can do anything even more. Teens drink at parties, and sneak into bars using fake ID. Cursing is mild and occasional: "hell," "damn," "ass," characters may say things "suck" or are "B.S."
Is It Any Good?
Like long-running WB family drama 7th Heaven, EVERWOOD tries hard to involve adults and kids alike and tackles some heavy subjects. Both series recognize that today's kids aren't spared from tragedy and difficult decisions. But Everwood has proven to be the richer series, with characters who aren't so perfect, and actors who can give them dimension. Each character is flawed -- and all strive to become better people, sometimes failing. Viewers will appreciate that the series depicts sibling relationships in an especially positive light.
Little kids won't find much of interest in Everwood, nor is the show meant for them. Situations are teen- and adult-oriented and deliberately controversial. The young characters have some problems, but overall they're wholesome, smart, caring role models. Coping with death is a major theme of the show; particularly in the earlier seasons. Families who have lost loved ones may benefit from talking about how characters on the show work through painful emotions. As the show's teen characters age through the seasons, so do their dilemmas -- sex, suicide, substance abuse are all taken on, and romance plays a big part in the drama, with characters meeting, cheating, breaking up, getting back together. It's a bit sudsy, but gentle enough for tweens and teens to watch alone or with parents, who may take particular pleasure in pointing out out the way things used to be. See! People used to wear watches! Hey, look at that flip-phone! Teens may also be more apt to watch if parents explain that Everwood's creator, Greg Berlanti, is also the guy who created the Arrow-verse.
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