Parents' Guide to

Frontline

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Hard-hitting news documentaries for teens and up.

TV PBS Educational 1983
Frontline Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 12+

“The Wounded Platoon”

This review is going to be focusing on an episode of this series called “The Wounded Platoon” following Iraq soldiers suffering with PTSD, alcoholism and drug addiction after returning from the war. In this episode, expect strong language and violent images/descriptions throughout along with plenty of scenes depicting drug content descriptions. THE WOUNDED PLATOON — VIOLENCE: MODERATE There are numerous intense images from the war shown throughout. These images show explosions and gunfire and dead bodies strewn around. Combat is shown. Men are shown being dragged through the streets, corpses of innocent civilians are shown lying in ditches after being shot in the head and executed (off camera), bloody clothing is shown on injured soldiers. One scene depicts several insurgents shooting a car with people inside of it. Vehicles are shown running over land mines exploding them and likely killing soldiers inside. There are disturbing murder descriptions. A man describes how he beat his wife and slapped her up the face. There is a disturbing 911 call where a woman cries to the operator about her being stabbed and held at gunpoint. Three men are shown being questioned about a murder (in which they shot a man twice in the head) they describe how he fell on the ground and how they commanded him to “get the fuck down”. There are references to other assaults and murders as well. Soldiers describe how they treated Iraq civilians in a non-human way and shot them whenever they pleased. All of the violent images, descriptions and situations are entirely real. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Around 20 uses of fuck, mostly in the second half. There are also uses of bitch and several uses of shit. Soldiers call an Iraqi citizen a “fucking insurgent bitch”. DRUG CONTENT: MODERATE There is a lot of discussion on addiction to cocaine and violence as a result to it, discussion on smoking marijuana, taking and abusing anti-depressants, and doing a variety of drugs. People smoke throughout. In one scene, a soldier runs around acting dangerously after getting on drugs during the war. There is discussion about how anti-depressants give soldiers a high and cause suicide. Drug use is never explicitly shown. SEXUAL CONTENT: NONE Brief suggestive images on posters. Nothing otherwise.
age 2+

Cheeseburger

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (1 ):

The winner of many major journalism awards -- including a Peabody for excellence in TV broadcasting -- Frontline stands out among other prime-time programs of this genre thanks to its in-depth research, solid reporting, and strong narrative. As a result of the producers' commitment to journalistic excellence, the series offers unflinching examinations of different, often-conflicting viewpoints, allowing viewers to experience for themselves the complexity of many of life's multifaceted events.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: January 17, 1983
  • Cast: Will Lyman
  • Network: PBS
  • Genre: Educational
  • TV rating: NR
  • Last updated: August 3, 2023

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