A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Love for one's family is stressed; as a surgeon, Ellen Sanders explicitly professes her desire to help and care for her patients meticulously.
Positive Role Models
It's certainly refreshing to see a female doctor at the center of high-level action, and the cast boasts racial and ethnic diversity. Villains are depicted as complex and aren't simply "bad guys" but people with principles and goals.
Violence & Scariness
Guns are brandished and fired; characters are threatened and sometimes killed. We see bodies fall and blood but no gore. Main characters are frequently in mortal jeopardy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A teen character is sexually active and may be pregnant.
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Some cursing: "What the hell?"
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some discussion of drugs as a teen character "deals weed."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hostages is a tense drama concerning a surgeon whose family is being held at gunpoint while she's ordered to make it look like the president of the United States died on the operating table. The family members, including teens, are held at gunpoint by mysterious strangers and are in mortal danger. Guns are brandished and fired; we see shooting deaths with blood but no gore. Victims cry and shake piteously. There is some discussion of drugs; a teen boy "deals weed" and is having trouble with a dealer friend threatening violence. A teen girl is sexually active and possibly pregnant. There is some cursing ("What the hell?"). Law-enforcement personnel are shown as sometimes being corrupt and capricious.
Is It Any Good?
Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott are predictably great, and here they're given juicy, meaty drama to chew on. It's an intriguing premise: Given the choice between terrible treason that upends every principle you hold dear, and keeping one's family safe in the face of near-certain death, what would any of us choose?
Every character is complex and has his or her secrets. Sanders' daughter may be pregnant; her son is consorting with drug dealers; her husband (the marvelous Tate Donovan) isn't the strong patriarch he appears to be. Even Carlisle has his reasons for doing what he's done, and a comatose wife and small daughter depend on him to return from his awful mission. The stakes are high, the twists are realistic, and the acting is very, very fine. This one's worth a look.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.