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 Frequency is a TV adaption of a 2000 movie about communicating with the past via radio technology. It discusses issues such as serial killing and police corruption, as well as more supernatural themes such as the existence of parallel, flexible timelines. Shootings and human remains are shown (but the images aren’t bloody). Occasional depictions of light sexuality include people kissing and getting out of bed; language includes "hell" and "ass." Drinking (mostly beer) and cigar smoking are visible, too.
What's the story?
Based on the 2000 film of the same name, FREQUENCY is a dramatic series about a woman who communicates with her father two decades after his suspicious death. NYPD Officer Frank Sullivan (Riley Smith) was found dead after going deep undercover, leaving his wife Julie (Devin Kelley) and his young daughter behind and the general public believing that he was corrupt. Twenty years later, NYPD Detective Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List) is building her own law enforcement career under the supervision of her dad’s best friend, Police Chief Satch Rayna (Mekhi Phifer), and enjoying her relationship with boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Lawrence). But an unexpected encounter via her dad's old ham radio reconnects Raimy with her father, who's still out there, transmitting from 1996. The past is changed thanks to their exchanges -- but not without devastating consequences. As a result, they have to find ways to rewrite events without wiping out everything (and everyone) they care about in the process.
Is it any good?
This series offers viewers an emotionally charged, supernaturally driven crime story that relies on the idea that parallel timelines exist. Stories transition between past and present with relative ease, and the writing offers enough explanation to reduce confusion. Meanwhile, most of Frequency's suspense comes from the resulting "butterfly effect," or the massive impact small actions made in one timeline have on the other.
The revival of a deep father-daughter connection, and the efforts to clear the name of a loyal police officer, make the overall story feel very human, if not predictable at times. But Frequency's dramatic nod to the notion that time and space are flexible (a concept touted by real-life string and chaos theories) gives it the oomph needed to keep viewers tuned in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it would be like to be able to communicate with the past or go back and change it, like in Frequency. What would you change? Why? Do you think it would change the person you are today?
What is a ham radio? Did you know that early ham radio inventors and users made major contributions to science, engineering, and industry? What role has the ham radio played in times of emergency in this country?