Gracepoint

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Gracepoint TV Poster Image
Compelling crime drama centers on a tween's murder.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

A cloud of suspicion hangs over the town, and secrets come out of the woodwork in the wake of Danny's death. But truth and justice are important themes, too.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters have a secret of some kind -- even the lead detective working the case. But Detective Ellie Miller is a positive and relatable heroine who's dedicated to finding Danny's killer.

Violence

Although the series revolves around a young boy's murder, blood and grizzly visuals are noticeably absent. 

Sex

Light innuendo/flirtation. Some characters engage in infidelity.

Language

Gateway terms include "son of a bitch," "ass," and "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Police find cocaine in a teenage girl's room, and a local hotel owner provides drugs for some of her guests. Some teen characters smoke.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gracepoint (a near carbon-copy remake of the British series Broadchurch) centers on the mysterious death of a 12-year-old boy in a small seaside town. Iffy content includes illegal drug-dealing and infidelity, but the series is surprisingly bloodless in spite of its subject matter. Language is limited to terms such as "son of a bitch" and "ass," and sexual innuendo is slight. Some teen characters smoke cigarettes.

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What's the story?

The quaint seaside town of GRACEPOINT gets its first murder investigation when the body of 12-year-old Danny Solano is discovered on the beach in an apparent suicide that reveals itself to be far more sinister. Detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn) is determined to solve the crime and bring the Solano family much-needed peace. But her process is hampered by the arrival of Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant), a brusque and brooding outsider with demons of his own.

Is it any good?

David Tennant's having a serious case of déjà vu in this seriesa near carbon-copy remake of Broadchurch, the critically acclaimed crime drama ​he starred in last year in Britain. Not just because the basic plot and setting are the same -- aside from transplanting the action to a seaside town in Northern California -- but because Tennant is playing the exact same character. The only difference is, he has a different name and an American accent.

This isn't the first time an actor from another country has been asked to put an American spin on a TV role he's already done (see also: Low Winter Sun). But it's something you don't see a lot -- and maybe there's good reason for that. After all, the first few episodes of Gracepoint are so eerily similar to Broadchurch that you have to wonder what the point was in remaking it. It's still great television, but for our money the original was fine the way it was.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Gracepoint's surprising lack of blood and gore, considering the subject matter. How does the show's violent content compare to other crime series you've seen? Does a series have to be graphic to be gripping?

  • In what ways does Gracepoint differ from Broadchurch, the British series it's based on? In what ways is it similar? What changes were made to tailor the story to American audiences -- and were they even necessary? 

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  • How heavily do technology, the media, and social networking affect crime-solving, particularly when it comes to high-profile cases? Does Gracepoint portray their influence in a realistic way?

TV details

For kids who love drama

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