By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Hard-to-understand drama deals with dreams, connections.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series is so surreal and dreamlike that it's hard to figure out what messages it's sending.
Positive Role Models
Characterizations are scanty; viewers will find it hard to draw a bead even on the show's three main characters, Tess, Burton, and Taka, but they are searching for truth.
Violence & Scariness
Dead bodies are shown onscreen, no blood or gore. Scary medical and supernatural imagery, often seen in dreams: figures who appear and disappear, a spooky figure with a head wrapped in duct tape, doctors holding down a woman shrieking with labor pains, a shadow grows claws, a loved one is kidnapped, a man is hit by a car and rolls over the top (no blood).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults take a shower together; no nudity. Kissing, dating, flirting.
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Infrequent cursing: "ass," "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters get drunk and wind up attracting law enforcement; adults drink cocktails at dinner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Falling Water is a mysterious drama involving three people who begin to realize their dreams are interconnected. Scary medical and supernatural imagery is often seen in dreams: figures who appear and disappear, a spooky figure with a head wrapped in duct tape, doctors holding down a woman shrieking with labor pains, a shadow grows claws, a loved one is kidnapped, a man is hit by a car and rolls over the top (no blood). Dead bodies shown onscreen, no blood or gore; a police officer finds a group of people dead in a house that appears to be a cult-like suicide. Infrequent cursing: "s--t," "ass," a man calls his wife a "cheap b---h." Adults drink cocktails with dinner.
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Based on 4 parent reviews
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One of the most interesting show I've ever seen
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What's the Story?
The setup behind FALLING WATER arrives early, in the show's opening narration: "What if your dreams are like tiles in a grand mosaic we're all dreaming together? Now what if a person, that one right person can wander out of their dream and into yours what if that person was you?" All rightie. Corporate security executive Burton (David Ajala), twitchy photographer Tess (Lizzie Brochere) and reserved cop Taka (Will Yun Lee) do seem to be having some dream-related problems. Tess is convinced she had a baby who was taken from her; Taka is plagued by visions of his invalid wife; Burton sees people and places and things that aren't there even while he's awake. How are these people connected, and what do their dreams have to do with the future of humanity? FALLING WATER aims to find out.
Is It Any Good?
Intriguing but irritatingly opaque, this drama traffics in dreamy imagery and surreal plot developments that seem cobbled together from other mysteries. People who can connect to others in dreams: hey, we remember that from Inception! Evil corporate plots: inspired by Mr. Robot? A shadowy cult: The Path? Closeups of eyeballs with arcane dramatic symbolism: Lost!
Adding to the problems: the show doesn't make it clear what events have happened in dreams and which in real life; nor are the characters sketched in beyond the barest outlines. We know Tess is searching for a lost child because she shows up at doctor's offices asking to be examined to see if she's given birth; we know Taka has an ailing wife because we see him putting her unmoving feet in a whirlpool spa; we know Burton works for a company that doesn't care if does business with sweatshops. But we don't get a sense of who these characters are, or what kinds of lives they live, just a lot of spooky dream imagery mixed with scenes of characters talking in office buildings and restaurants. If the (lazy!) narration in the show's pilot didn't lay out the premise, it'd be difficult to figure out even that. Falling Water is artful enough to make the viewer want to know the answers to the mysteries the show introduces, but it's so purposefully non-linear plotwise that it may lose you on the way.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Falling Water's premise. Is it realistic or fantastic? How do you know? Do TV shows have to be realistic to be interesting?
Families can talk about dreams. Do you have them? What are they like? Do you think the things in Falling Water are possible in real life?
How have television standards for strong language changed over time? Does hearing (or not hearing) words such as "s--t" on a show such as Falling Water make you more or less likely to use them in real life?
- Premiere date: October 13, 2016
- Cast: Lizzie Brochere, Zak Orth, David Ajala, Will Yun Lee
- Network: USA
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
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