Falling Skies

Common Sense Media says

Earnest alien drama gets hostile but holds back on gore.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show drives home positive messages about building community, working together, and protecting human life whenever possible. Most families are no longer intact, but the concept of family is still very important.

Positive role models

Most characters are fighting for the common good and are willing to risk their lives to protect each other. That said, the human survivors take orders from a largely male leadership. A few women play important secondary roles in camp (one is a doctor, two are fighters), but for the most part, the men seem to be in charge.


Violent acts aren't excessively shocking or gory, but there are frequent gun battles, laser fights, and bombings with bouts of blood and death. Most characters have experienced life-altering moments of violence. Children taken prisoner by the aliens are outfitted with controlling devices that look painful and invasive.


Sex isn't the focus in a survival situation, but there's some mild innuendo/flirting/interaction between select characters. Some kissing.


Infrequent use of "damn," "hell," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that violence drives the plot of this sci-fi drama, but it's surprisingly light on blood and gore. That said, characters use weapons of every sort -- from guns to explosives -- and death is a common occurrence. (The aliens themselves are pretty creepy, too.) You'll also hear low-level curse words like "hell" and "damn," and see light sexual content (like kissing).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, FALLING SKIES follows the dramas of human survivors living in the wake of a global alien attack and their collective efforts to fight back and reclaim their planet. The action centers on the 2nd Massachusetts, an organized band of resistance fighters and civilians who have an ace up their sleeve with Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a former professor with expert knowledge of military history and combat tactics. But Mason must balance the facts in his head with the sadness in his heart after losing his wife -- and watching his teenage son, Ben (Connor Jessup), become an unwilling alien hostage.

Is it any good?


If it's possible to add a "family" feel to a show about an alien apocalypse, then Falling Skies manages to do it. But it does so with such heavy-handed sincerity that, at times, it feels oddly insincere. As a result, the show gets mired in earnest moments about sticking together and working collectively for the common good -- which are great messages, to be sure, but unfortunately don't help to advance the plot.

Couple that with the show's dialed-down realism (you're largely spared the blood and guts you'd see in real life -- and on most shows of this nature), and you're left with a big-budget, high-concept series that, while watchable, feels surprisingly bland.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's premise and the messages it sends about survival and human nature. If the world ever suffered a catastrophe of this scale (alien or otherwise), how do you think humans would behave?

  • How does the level of violence in this show compare with that of other movies and television series that have dealt with the same topic? Would real-life conflict on this scale be more or less violent than what you see here?

  • Are the aliens themselves too scary, not scary enough, or just right for TV?

TV details

Cast:Moon Bloodgood, Noah Wyle, Will Patton
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Falling Skies 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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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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Educator and Parent Written byjefflang December 12, 2013

Great show, but has some drinking/smoking.

I echo many of the other comments. It's a well-made show that has family and it's importance as a central theme amidst all the battles. I am writing primarily to let those who care know that the main review's omission of the drinking symbol is an error. The main characters often have a glass of wine or scotch to relax after a hard day, and several of the fighters are repeatedly depicted smoking. This is not a focus of the show by any means, but it is certainly a recurring component.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byOGORMAN June 22, 2012

My favorite character is Ben Mason!! :)

This is my all time favorite show! Language is being used more and more frequently as the show goes on, but the worst it gets is h---, d--n, and a--. Since the characters are fighting off alien "skitters" and "mechs" there is a lot of violence. However it is not usually gory (only the scenes of medical surgeries and children being harnessed are slightly graphic). There are many battles against the aliens that involve the use of varieties of guns and also a few bombs. The skitters will most likely frighten young children (they sort of scared me at first, they look very real). The aliens are also abducting teens and controlling them with these creepy harnesses that may also scare younger children. Not so much in the first season, but as the show has gone on, characters have started to form interests in one another. These relationships are realistic and have good depth, nothing you wouldn't want your kids to see. Mainly, some infrequent kissing is seen, however, there are some references to slightly more going on (nothing is visible). Tom Mason is a deeply caring father who only wants to do what is best for his three sons: Matt, Ben, and Hal. He is a role model and leader for everyone throughout the series, even if they don't always agree with his methods.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byEmmaline Chiller June 26, 2012

Falling skies

I absolutely love the show, at the present time I am 14, but I began to watch the show when I was 13. I've watched bones, fringe, ncis and horror genre ever since I was little so I don't think any thing of concern for this show. I think the show is appropriate to watch, but I would stray away from presenting the show to kids who don't wach action or survival shows that are frightened easily. I have a cousin who finds Harry potter and some scooby doo movies/ episodes frightening (she is 9 years old) so I wouldn't show her this show. I have another cousin who is 7 and she choses to watch shows like ncis, bones, medical surgery documentaries and I would allow her to watch this show and not think twice. The show in total doesn't have a high concer for children, there aren't any sexual references, sex scenes or inferred sexual referenced. The only thing relative to this section is a teenage girl and boy kiss, an adult man and woman kiss goodbye and a conversation between two people wondering how the aliens increase in numbers asking if they are hermafridites or reproduce like humans There is ONE occasion when a man over the age of 40 has a sip of scotch and another occasion where the same man says to a 13 year old boy "If you were older we would give you a glass of whiskey," it is said quite lightheartedly , this statement is expressed after the teenage boy was attacked by an Alain and is in the medical bay suffering from shock.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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