A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Women and people of color can achieve positions of power in science and on multiple levels of government.
Positive Role Models
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.