Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

In the Dark

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sex, booze, and smoking in appealing but uneven dramedy.

TV CW Drama 2019
In the Dark Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 18+

Too Much Sex

There is no way that this show is appropriate for kids or teenagers. It’s unfortunate because the storyline is interesting but the random sex with multiple partners by all of the characters is not what I want my kids seeing . IMO, the writers are pushing an agenda because it’s definitely not relevant to the storyline.
age 18+

Soft porn, booze, STDs, etc

What in the world? Making the main character blind does not make all the soft porn and consequences TV14! It’s still just shy of porn and her UTI’s and Morning after pills, seriously, what do they add? Yes, she’s messed up and self hating. Are the writers and directors so incapable of conveying that without provoking young viewers? Are they suggesting that sex with random strangers is okay, normal even, for all of our 14 year old children? It’s really disappointing that this is what passes for “intelligent drama” now.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This series is trying to be two shows, only one of which works: a sparkling dark dramedy about a relatably fallible heroine, and a blah murder mystery that should have been pronounced DOA. First, the good: Mattfeld's Murphy is an entertaining great big mess who viewers can't help liking, even though her character initially comes off as a high-concept gimmick: a blind woman who's a drunk, nearly friendless, and with a sexual addiction telegraphed by a drugstore employee greeting her familiarly and asking if Murphy's there for "the usual": morning-after pills, which Murphy apparently prefers as a method of birth control. Why? asks every viewer familiar with the pill's reputation for causing fantastic nausea, given that Murphy's in the same drugstore where many gentler over-the-counter methods are easily available. OK, we can let that pass, because the dialogue is pretty great, and Mattfeld is appealing delivering it, particularly during one of the many moments when a side character assumes something stupid about her blindness. (When asked if her "other senses are heightened," she scoffs, "That's not a thing. I'm not Daredevil.")

However, when Mattfeld's not living her louche and watchable ordinary life, things sag a little. The doomed Tyson is a type, and so are the no-goodniks who populate his big-city world (by the way, never has Toronto less believably played a large American city, supposedly Chicago in this case). It's not especially buyable that a teen street dealer and an adult woman are great pals, and Murphy's investigation into Tyson's death is even more challenging suspension of disbelief. A person with no training, no particular investigative skills, and a serious disability is gonna get those bad guys where the cops fail? Only on television would such a thing work, and even when Murphy's inquiry does go well, these scenes are no more animated than those in a dull procedural. At least said procedurals usually have a juicy case at the center; this one is painfully unarousing. Wrap up that murder quick, and let's get back to watching Murphy against the world. Because that's a show that cooks. The mystery part of In the Dark is simply unappetizing.

TV Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate