Parents' Guide to

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Sex, booze, and spying in exciting James Bond backgrounder.

TV BBC America Drama 2014
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Part of the giddy fun of Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond is catching the Bond references. Ooh, he takes his cocktail shaken, not stirred! Say, he's skiing in the Austrian alps, just like Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me! Thus, Bond fans are squarely in the wheelhouse of this BBC series, but it's not only for Bond geeks. Fans of the sort of slow-burn plotting (and sexy vintage clothes and settings) in Mad Men will appreciate Fleming, with its droll British chat and complex characters.

The comparison to Mad Men is particularly apt because Fleming himself is a hero/antihero in the vein of Don Draper. We don't like him, exactly, with his smug, superior attitude and dismissiveness toward women. But we do find him interesting and the wartime milieu in which he lives utterly fascinating. His life looks to be a James Bond novel come to life, with messy emotional complications. This is adventure plus humanity, a winning combination for those mature enough to handle it.

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