Granite Flats

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Granite Flats TV Poster Image
Suspenseful Cold War drama solid pick for the whole family.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The story follows a community of characters through the tumultuous Cold War era but focuses more on the strength of families and the human spirit's perseverance than on the negative forces at play. Prejudice appropriate to the time is evident, often aimed at an Asian-American character. Some bullying among kids and many references to "commies." Many characters cope with loss and grief. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Strong parental role models, and Arthur is motivated by the example his late father set for him to do well in all his endeavors. Kids exercise greater freedom than we're used to today, which they use to try to solve mysterious events in their town. Some people's loyalties are questionable. 


Explosions, some playground scuffles. Mention of suicide and death in the line of duty. 


Only name-calling such as "moron," "idiot," and "loser." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Granite Flats pairs enticing drama and suspense with clean content, making it an excellent choice for families who want grown-up intrigue without the usual generous helpings of sex and violence. Because the series is set in the Cold War, there are cultural markers that stand out as odd today, including some prejudice toward minorities (an Asian-American character in particular) and references to "commies." Though there's no violence to speak of, there is a constant threat of war or attack. People lead double lives and hold tight to secrets, making allegiance difficult to grasp. Sensitive issues such as grief and post-traumatic stress also are addressed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by5kids78 January 6, 2020

Family show

Any age can sit and watch, definitely PG rated, but younger kids won't necessarily grasp the references to the cold war era. 3rd season has a few more matu... Continue reading
Parent Written byJoe T. November 26, 2017

Mysteries for older kids

This show is supposed to be for little kids. But the story is way too mature for those younger than 10. There is talk of suicide and someone shoots and kills an... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymtcnmaddux December 1, 2018

Great series grows darker over time.

This show has become a memory in my family. When I was about 10, it became a habit to watch an episode a day with my dad. The first season has spunky, lovable k... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 9, 2017

A bit confusing?

The show after a while got confusing and I didn't know what was going on. That could be because I only watched It inconsistently. Good story line except I... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in the early 1960s, GRANITE FLATS follows various members of a small-town community in Colorado through tumultuous Cold War years. The story opens with the arrival of Beth Milligan (Annie Tedesco), a recently widowed nurse who relocated to Granite Flats with her son, Arthur (Jonathan Morgan Heit), after her husband was killed on military duty. Arthur quickly befriends Timmy (Charlie Plummer) and Madeline (Malia Tyler), with whom he teams up to investigate strange goings-on around town and the nearby army base. With the commies always threatening and uncertainty lurking around many people's true political allegiance, there are more questions to be found than answers in this otherwise sleepy town. As the series progresses, friends will turn against friends and secrets will be revealed that could rock Granite Flats to its core.

Is it any good?

Granite Flats marks BYUtv's successful foray into scripted programming, offering captivating drama that's entirely free of the edgy content that usually pervades this type of series. There's no strong language, no suggestion of sexuality, and very little violence. What it does display are strong family values, complex scenarios, and intriguing characters whose true natures are revealed only a little bit at a time. The story also is riddled with secrets, giving viewers ample reason to keep coming back for more.

Even though Granite Flats' content puts it into the "family-friendly" category, it's not suitable for all members of your family. The story deals with some pretty weighty issues, including the loss of a loved one, the threat of nuclear attack, and many people leading double lives. These aren't the kinds of topics your younger kids will either understand or appreciate, but if you're looking for something with some depth to watch with your tweens and teens, Granite Flats is one to try. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the show suggests about life during the Cold War era. Were enemies easily identifiable? What kinds of attacks were expected? How is this different from the current political climate? 

  • How are women portrayed in this series? Why do some have jobs outside the home and some don't? Do any question their roles? What strides has our society made toward gender equality? Is there more to do? 

  • Does this series prove that good drama can exist without edgy content such as sex and language? Do you think we'll ever see a trend toward less of it in mainstream entertainment? Why, or why not? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family dramas

Themes & Topics

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