TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Heroes TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Hero-driven drama is "super" for teens and up.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 81 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Overall the show's messages are similar to those of most superhero stories -- it's right for good to triumph over evil, characters who see the light deserve a second chance, etc. But plotlines can get very convoluted, with characters changing sides/alliances frequently, and it's sometimes hard to keep that in mind.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While most of the heroes have flaws (some quite significant), their collective goal is noble: to save the world and the people in it. Characters learn and demonstrate self-control and teamwork. That said, many characters switch allegiances, and it's sometimes hard to keep track of who's "good" or "bad" at any given moment. On the plus side, the cast members are a generally diverse group.


Significant amounts of blood and guts, and several graphic murder scenes. Some of the visuals are shockingly gory and may turn even the strongest of stomachs. Characters are constantly in peril and/or risking themselves to help others. Frequent images of potential Armageddon -- explosions, destruction, etc. The characters' goal is to prevent that from happening, but the images are frequent and scary.


One of the original "heroes" is a Las Vegas stripper who runs a Web pornography business out of her home and is shown stripping for a webcam (no real nudity) and seducing another character in her underwear. Other characters are shown in bed together (no sex on screen), with implied nudity. In at least one episode, two young women share a kiss.


Occasional use of words/terms like "crack whore," "bitch," "hell," "hump," and "screw."


Some product placement (cars, etc.)

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One hero has a heroin addiction; other characters (including some underage) are shown drinking socially on occasion.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, while teens are definitely going to want to watch this comic book-like fantasy drama, Heroes is iffy due to its significant graphic violence. A central character who's incapable of getting injured frequently suffers debilitating injuries (burning, falls, mutilation), only to walk away unscathed; there are some disturbingly gory murders (heads cut open, bodies impaled by knives and other sharp objects); and explosive images of potential Armageddon are frequent. The show also has some relatively mild sexual content and language to watch out for, but the violence is the big issue here.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 14-year-old Written bysmita67 March 28, 2013

Great Show! Not For Kids

This is a show that I love to watch! But there are loads of things unsuitable for children 16 and under in the show.The site haven't given very much detail... Continue reading
Adult Written byTobler4 May 7, 2019

Too much blood and gore

This series has a lot of blood, gore and violence. I have to turn away.
Teen, 15 years old Written byfictionalheroes August 9, 2017

Incredible show, not for younger teens

Firstly, this show does have a lot of violence, especially in season 1. However, as the show progresses, there is less and less. The characters are really good... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bynightstrike50 April 14, 2019

Good, but extremely violent.

The title practically says it all...this show is very violent, what is shown is character's heads being sliced open and brains removed, a ton of blood, imp... Continue reading

What's the story?

In HEROES, life suddenly changes for a far-flung group of seemingly ordinary people when they begin developing superpowers. New York nurse Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) has been having strange dreams about flying, a quirk that his politically ambitious brother, Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), wants nothing to do with. Las Vegas Web-cam girl Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) has begun to see her dangerous alter ego's reflection in mirrors, while Japanese office worker Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) has literally started turning back the clock. Cop Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) realizes that he can hear what other people are thinking, and jailbird D.L. Hawkins (Leonard Roberts) finds out that he can walk through walls. Texas cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) has discovered that she's incapable of getting hurt, and artist Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera) is painting horrifying images that seem to show future events. Meanwhile, Indian genetics professor Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) is picking up the pieces of his deceased father's research surrounding a global event that could change the course of all mankind.

Is it any good?

By merging the stories of these drastically different characters from all over the world into one gripping plotline, Heroes creates addictive television drama on a near-epic scale. One of the reasons it's so good is that the show's creators clearly understand the power of the cliffhanger, a device that's bound to propel it into "must see" territory for die-hard TV (and sci-fi/fantasy) junkies.

But as a programming choice for young kids, Heroes falls short of "super," due mostly to the flat-out graphic violence. Much of it is connected to Claire -- she comes away unscathed from some nasty injuries, including a hand down the disposal and a neck-breaking blow from a football player -- but plenty of other scenes depict bloody murders, sawed-open heads, Armageddon-like explosions, and more. Some of it is so gory that most adults will have to turn their heads And kids? Well, they'll likely have nightmares.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nature of the word "hero" and what it means in everyday life and to the characters on Heroes. Do people need to have super-human powers to be heroic? And is being drastically different from everyone else a curse or a blessing?

  • Since the ensemble cast includes a diverse mix of sexes, ethnicities, and personality types, families can also discuss cultural bias and sexism. Are male superheroes more powerful than females -- and why do we often assume that they are? Are Americans more heroic than people from other nations -- and why is it such a rarity to see a "foreign" superhero?

  • How do the characters on Heroes demonstrate self-control and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

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Themes & Topics

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