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 Game of Silence is a dark, grim drama about a group of friends still suffering from a series of harrowing childhood incidents. There's frequent violence: deaths occur on-screen, including accidents and murder, with blood and some gore, plus some fistfights and scuffles. Authorities abuse, beat, and (implied, offscreen) molest their young charges in a juvenile detention facility. Scenes take place in bars with characters drinking beers and liquor, and they act sloppy and violent after drinking. Drugs figure in a shadowy political conspiracy. Characters engage in criminal and moral misdeeds and try to justify their actions. A villain smokes on-screen. Cursing includes "dammit," "ass," and "hell."
What's the story?
GAME OF SILENCE centers on Jackson Brooks (David Lyons), a guy who has it all together: His legal career is taking off, and his beautiful fiancée is also a partner at his firm. But when his group of childhood friends suddenly comes back into his life to seek his help avenging a decades-old wrong, Jackson's perfect life starts slipping away. A set of murders that begins with the death of his friend Boots (Derek Phillips) starts a deadly chain of events. His brash friends Gil Harris (Michael Raymond James) and Shawn Cook (Larenz Tate) haven't strayed very far from the criminal path they embarked on after their stay at a juvenile detention center. They want vengeance against the authorities and fellow inmates who hurt them long ago. But the former warden of that detention center is now making a run for Congress and is still connected with a criminal underworld. The warden and his goons know Jackson's secrets, and there are mysteries he and his friends haven't even begun to discover yet.
Is it any good?
This entry in the "avenging a dark incident from one's past" genre is competently written, acted, and plotted, if a bit clichéd. Audiences who've seen Sleepers or Mystic River may feel like they're seeing a retread: Game of Silence centers on many of the same themes and runs through many of the plot paces. But the actors -- particularly Tate as Shawn Cook, compelling enough to be the lead yet not given as much to do -- do sell the material, breathing life into the familiar goings-on. The thriller pacing, with a cliffhanger before commercials and at the ends of episodes, is grabby, too -- you'll want to see what happens next to these characters, even if you suspect you know how it's all going to end. A warning for family viewers: Because there are violent and horrifying things that happen to young characters, watching with teens and tweens may be fraught. The violent incidents are frequently referred to, with flashbacks that may make some viewers very uncomfortable. Be forewarned if you watch as a family.
Talk to your kids about ...
What's the impact of media violence on kids? How does watching a show such as Game of Silence change your reactions to violence? Do scenes of violence involving children, or authorities abusing those in their charge, disturb you more than explosions or war scenes? Why do you think that is?
Who are the heroes in Game of Silence? Do they act like heroes? What's the difference between a hero and an antihero? A hero and a main character?
Murder and revenge are staples of TV dramas. Why? Why are people interested in watching the plights of troubled others?
For kids who love mysteries
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.