A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
Talk to your kids 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?