Everwood TV Poster Image

Everwood

Engaging but controversial show for teens.
Parents recommend
  • Network: WB
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

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. 

Sex

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. 

Language

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." 

Consumerism
Not applicable
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. 

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." 

What's the story?

Dr. Andy Brown (Treat Williams), his teenage son Ephram (Gregory Smith), and preteen daughter Delia (Vivien Cardone) are just learning how to be a family. Andy was formerly an inattentive father, mostly absent from his children's lives until their mother's death. Now he's trying to get to know them. Ephram is a gifted pianist and somewhat of an outcast in the small mountain town the Browns have moved to. He was miserable at first, but a close friendship with Amy Abbot (Emily VanCamp), the daughter of the town's only other doctor, plus breakthroughs in his strained relationship with his own dad, keep him sticking around. Meanwhile, as Delia starts to grow out of her tomboy years, she poses greater and greater challenges to her inexperienced father. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY

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. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the serious and sometimes controversial topics addressed on the show. Ephram and Andy's relationship has never been harmonious. How might they work together to improve their father/son bond? Amy and Rose have had trouble in their relationship. How might a disease as serious as cancer affect a patient's interactions with family members? How does loss affect individuals, and how do these effects radiate out to the people in their lives? 

  • How do the members of the Brown family use communication to solve problems with each other and other people in Everwood? How does courage play a part in their learning how to fit into a new town and new relationships? Why are these important character strengths

  • Dramas that air on network television can be less "mature" than those that air on cable. Do you notice the difference when watching a show like Everwood? What is toned down? Do you miss these aspects of cable shows when watching a network TV show? Have the standards of what it's okay to say or do on network television changed since Everwood began airing in 2003? 

TV details

Premiere date:September 16, 2002
Cast:Gregory Smith, Scott Wolf, Treat Williams
Network:WB
Genre:Drama
Character strengths:Communication, Courage
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Adult Written byCheerx0x143 April 9, 2008

Awesome show

One of the great hour shows that are on now a days and you don't have to hide this one from you parents.
Adult Written bysoccerchick April 9, 2008

WONDERFUL

Loved It. Great story line. Characters have great lines and their lifes are so exciting and interesting! So NOT boring!
Teen, 17 years old Written byScout Collins September 24, 2013

Everwood Is the Best TV Show EVER.

Everwood is a super-amazing show. Unlike Disney sitcoms, where editors have to add laughing effects so people know when to laugh at the un-funny jokes, Everwood is actually funny - kids, teens AND adults will all laugh at different things in the show. I won't give away the plot, but so far (I am in the middle of Season 2) the show has been breathtaking and unbeliveably outstanding. It is my favourite TV show. The only things that might be inappropriate to an audience of age 11 and under is that there is some smoking and drug use (discussions, actually showing it, etc.) but smoking and drugs are a real part of life and this show really explains deeply the cons of drugs/smoking. There is some swearing but the writers of the show use swearing "tastefully". There is hardly any violence/sex shown in the show. The writers wrote and developed the characters SO well that anytime something bad happens to a character I like (or even one I don't like) I feel really sad! The writers made the characters so real that once you watch the show you actually get to know them as if they are real people. Everwood is a REAL show about REAL people and REALISTIC events. Almost every episode deals with some kind of medical-related thing (widely ranging from things like teen pregnancy, bulimia, AIDS, a debate about anti-depressants, etc.). This show explores real relationships (romantic, sibling, parent to child, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.) and it isn't one of those shows where if something bad happens (e.g. one of the characters is diagnosed with cancer) it is dealt with in one episode and by the end of the episode everyone forgets that something bad happened in the first place. If something bad happens, the characters remember it and have to deal with it. The show explores first girlfriend/boyfriend relationships. The show portrays them very realistically. The show also explores parent - child relationships. The main characters in the show don't have perfect families; often there are disagreements and fights and the characters (like in real life) have to learn how to deal with them. I could go on forever about how unbelievably wonderful this show is, but I'll just finish by saying it is the closest to perfect any TV show has ever come to (in my opinion). I was so disappointed to find out that the show was cancelled after Season 4. It really deserved to have 10, or even 20 seasons because it was/is so fantastic. Please do watch the show, I promise it won't be a waste of time.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking