Parents' Guide to

It's a Sin

By Marty Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Great 1980s-set drama about AIDS epidemic has sex, drugs.

TV Max Drama 2021
It's a Sin Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Emotional, educational, honest

I watched this before my daughter, who is almost 16, thinking she wouldn't be interested in it all, but loving the 80s and hearing me talk positively about it, she watched in one go. Growing up in the 80s in a loving but sheltered regular home, the subject of any sex was never discussed. The frivolity, innocence and honesty of It's a Sin made this a compelling watch, even though you know the brutal outcome for so many. Yes there's lots of simulated sex, yes there is alot of graphic language and swearing. However, it opened my eyes to the truths of this disease that I hadn't really known before. My daughter is growing up in a time where we are more open and topics of discussion, to a point, should not be limited. She's empathetic and has a great maturity in her outlook to world and so the quiet decision to allow her to watch this, was not a difficult one. It's a touching account of love and true friendship in the midst of this terrible outbreak and sparked further conversation between her and I, about how far medicine has come to help keep HIV under control but also how it is still a threat to many in developing countries. You've got to gauge what your own child is ready to watch, but for us, it was poignant and important.
age 16+

British 1980s, height of Thatcher, HIV infections and pharmaceutical profiteering

Strong, powerful, and although there is a lot of trauma the film is well written, well acted and offers some contextual information for the larger issues looming around the flatmates as they live through the 1980s London at the height of HIV transmission, homophobia and government inaction. I would have liked a bit more on the broader political and social contexts, but the sentimentality and the varied story lines and the centric-ness of homosexuality in many different forms is refreshing. Who is committing the sin, the answer shifts as the series goes on? Fantastic performances...great depiction of generational shame and how it manifests in destructive behavior. A must-see.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Writer-producer Russell T. Davies has quickly become one of the most significant voices in television, with the rare ability to absorb and respond to culture in real time. 2019's Years and Years explored how technology affects people in ways they're not psychologically prepared for, and it's not difficult to draw parallels between It's a Sin's depiction of the AIDS epidemic in London and the way America and Britain have responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

But while Years and Years was often difficult to watch, It's a Sin, for all of its frank depictions of disease and prejudice, is often a lot of fun. Davies keeps the series focused on community: how surrogate families can offer strength and support through crisis and tragedy, but also how communities can help otherwise marginalized people find a sense of identity and joy in togetherness.

TV Details

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