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 Hanna is a sometimes-violent action thriller about a teenage girl who has been raised in isolation and trained in survival. Based on the 2011 film, Hanna commits multiple, violent murders, but these seem to be in service of an arc that has her learning to curb her violent tendencies. She also smokes cigarettes, drinks, and discovers that boys are interested in her -- all a part of her "maturing" and breaking away from the oversight of her father. It's a coming-of-age story where the protagonist just happens to be an assassin; older teen viewers will probably enjoy both aspects.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman) steals a baby from the hospital and evades the police. He raises her in a forest and plans to never leave, teaching her survival skills in case danger finds them. Now a teenager, Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) naturally becomes curious about the outside world and temporarily escapes their forest dwelling, accidentally alerting the CIA to their presence. Marissa Wiegler, a CIA operative who has been searching for Heller all these years, immediately begins to pursue both him and his daughter, willing to kill them if necessary.
Is it any good?
The draw of the 2011 film the series is based on is often visual: chases through abandoned theme parks and riveting characters with strange quirks. But Amazon's Hanna has little of that same inspiration. Despite being a chase across Europe, the show looks just as bland as any number of other current TV dramas. The characterization is equally lacking, as the show seems to be withholding Erik's and Marissa's motivations for a big reveal. But it's still somewhat compelling, largely on the strength of Esme Creed-Miles' assured performance as the title character and the relatability of her struggle. She may have been CIA-trained from birth, but she's really just a kid trying to leave home for the first time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the dynamics between Hanna and her father. How was Hanna raised? How has this affected her relationship with her dad? How has it affected her view of the outside world?
Why do you think Hanna's father raised her this way? What hasn't he told her?
Is it possible to change a person by training them in certain skills? Think about soldiers or spies.
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