A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
It offers a balanced account of the events that happened thanks to interviews with the multiple people involved. Anti-American and Anti-Iranian sentiments are expressed, as are hopes that the relationship will improve.
Positive Role Models
Everyone featured played a role in the events that transpired, some of which were more problematic than others. Some hostages takers have regrets about what happened, while others do not. Some of the former hostages discuss the ways they rebelled, and the appreciation they have for those who gave their lives trying to help them. Some are more resentful about what happened, while others are more forgiving.
Those interviewed are U.S. and Iranian men and women. It reveals the involvement of men and women in what happened. Some U.S. captives were Black.
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Violence & Scariness
Archive footage shows people in captivity, violent protests where individuals are shot and beaten, and images of people who were victims of torture under the Shah's regime. Former hostages suggest that they were tortured, but do not go into detail. There is also disturbing footage of the aftermath of a failed rescue attempt, including people showing and handling burnt remains of U.S. soldiers on the streets of Iran.
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Words like "bitch" and curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are used.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking is often visible in archive footage.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hostages is a docuseries about what happened in the U.S. and Iran before and during the 1979 hostage crisis. It's balanced and informative, but contains archive footage of and conversations about violent protests in which people get hurt, what it was like to be in captivity, and mutilated corpse. Torture is also a theme. Cursing is frequent, and people are shown smoking at work, which was common for the time. All of this is offered in a historical context, but it's a lot for younger and more sensitive viewers to handle.
Is It Any Good?
This informative and balanced documentary reveals some of the many complicated details surrounding the 1979 hostage crisis, which was the first international crisis to play out on television. It condenses some of the most important foreign policy details associated with the events that transpired in a way that is understandable for those who are unfamiliar with former Iranian-U.S. relations. But it is the descriptions and perspectives offered by the former hostages, and their former captives, that bridge the gap between policy decisions and decision-makers, and the actual impact they had, and continue to have, on their day-to-day lives.
None of this is presented in a sensational way, nor is it produced with the intention of villainizing one side over the other. Instead, Hostages does its best to offer an objective account of how international and domestic politics in both countries contributed to what happened. History and foreign policy buffs will find it easy to immerse themselves in it, and those looking to learn more about what happened will find the assessments it offers interesting.
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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.