Parents' Guide to

Hell on Wheels

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gritty drama revels in Wild West's vices and violence.

TV AMC Drama 2011
Hell on Wheels Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 17+

Story rich gory drama with sex.

The story on this tv show was very well done except for the first few episodes at the beginning of season 4. There are some cringe worthy gore scenes and the violence is non-stop. There are eyes getting ripped out, limbs amputated, corpses chopped and fed to pigs, and much more. There is multiple sex scenes but none to inappropriate. I would say a mature teen could handle this tv show.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 18+

great western

Very good version of the history of the people who worked on the railroad with a likable main character and lots of action.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (8):

On the surface, Hell on Wheels certainly looks like it could be another Mad Men or The Walking Dead, the type of well-made, cerebral drama AMC is known for. Both the art direction and costuming are thoughtful and detailed, and the period is well-defined. But there's something in the way this story's told that makes us care a lot less about these characters than we'd like to.

Perhaps the problem lies in the show's sweeping ambitions to tell too many stories at once, blending elements of Manifest Destiny, post-Civil War racial tensions, and the construction of the transcontinental railroad, just to name a few. That said, with the writing in the right hands, it's precisely that level of ambition that could be the series' greatest virtue.

TV Details

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