TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Extant TV Poster Image
Twisty futuristic thriller; realistic robots a bit creepy.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Women and people of color can achieve positions of power in science and on multiple levels of government.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The central characters are dedicated professionals and parents (of a sort); they think and talk about doing the right things. Side characters are complex and not always honest about their motives.


Suicide is referred to frequently. One of the main characters is a roboticist; unsettling shots of disembodied eyeballs and waxen, creepy faces are shown. Gore is low, but body-horror imagery is high.


Since the plot revolves around a mysterious pregnancy, viewers can expect to see and hear many references to sex. A married couple kisses in the shower; no nudity is seen.


Infrequent language that's rather subversive: In one episode, Molly utters a mild "dammit," prompting her work computer to demand $5 for the swear jar.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Party guests are shown with cocktails. The main character specifically mentions she hasn't had alcohol in more than a year due to her job.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Extant is a futuristic thriller that revolves around a mysterious pregnancy. Sex is referred to frequently and sometimes takes place on-screen, but no nudity is shown. A married couple showers together and kisses intimately. The overall level of violence and gore is very low but may frighten or traumatize some children; due to a side plot about realistic robots a main character hopes to adopt out, viewers can expect to see and hear a lot of body-horror imagery: medical examinations, shelves full of disembodied robot eyeballs and faces, a hatch in a young boy's skin that leads to a battery pack. A small child is actually a lifelike robot and is frequently in danger or acting oddly, which may scare young viewers. A dead animal (a bird) is seen on-screen, and it's implied a young child killed it. Partygoers drink alcohol.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRwhite1227 November 9, 2019

I watched it and think 14+ is a bit much.

Extant was a great show. Personally, I think that 14+ is too harsh, considering that there isn’t any sex, no excessive drinking or drugs, they only cuss once, a... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byKmck367 November 9, 2019

Really good, doesn’t have to be for 14 year olds...

I think that Extant is a fantastic show, and shouldn’t be for kids 14 and up. It doesn’t have any scenes or nudity, and the main character cusses one time only,... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBelleVersaii May 3, 2016


There is lots of alien mystery. Many of the main characters have hallucinations of loved ones that died tragically. In one hallucination the character is forced... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the sci-fi thriller EXTANT, astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) has just returned from a 13-month solo mission in space with a surprise: She's pregnant. This will vastly complicate reintegrating herself into life with her husband, handsome roboticist John (Goran Visnjic), and their son, Ethan (Pierce Gagnon). But, since Ethan is a super-realistic robot instead of an actual human, things are actually already pretty complicated, particularly because Ethan has been acting strangely since Molly returned. Meanwhile, shadowy government and corporate figures are moving in on Molly; they have secrets of their own. Just what kind of program is mysterious billionaire Hideki Yasumoto (Hiroyuki Sanada) running? What does he know about Molly's mission or what she found? Why is a dead fellow agent turning up late at night in her garden? And just how did Molly manage to get pregnant while she was all alone in space?

Is it any good?

Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and starring a host of familiar faces, Extant comes with a pedigree that could easily have interfered with its storytelling. It's hard to ignore that (movie star!) Halle Berry is playing a regular ol' wife and mom, albeit one who strapped on a space suit and spent a year in zero gravity. Still, the show revolves around such intriguing premises and is so well written and acted that it rises above being a mere stunt. The show's central mystery, that of Molly's pregnancy, raises a lot of meaty issues, as do the relationships with her robot son and robot-maker husband, who insists his son loves him even as Molly worries that his love is only a "series of commands."

The best sci-fi wraps far-out ideas around realistic characters, and on this level Extant scores. This is science fiction that will make viewers both think and feel, a rare combination -- particularly rare in oft-cheesy TV sci-fi. Also, on a purely aesthetic level, the show is gorgeous, with luminous sets and interestingly framed shots. This is great whole-family viewing for sci-fi geeks.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about when Extant is set. Is it in modern times? How can you tell?

  • Extant was made by some very high-profile filmmakers and movie stars. Why would these celebrities want to participate in a network television show? What types of storytelling does TV make possible that a film does not?

  • Are Molly and John Woods wealthy or poor? How can you tell?

TV details

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