A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Persevering and overcoming obstacles are central themes, as is individuality, independence, and strength of character. There is also a message about true love transcending class and wealth, and the importance of dealing with the past in order to move forward in the present.
Positive Role Models
Jane Eyre has become a feminist role model over the years. She overcomes the obstacles of her difficult childhood and the confines of her gender to draw strength and determination. She sticks to her principles and betters her position through learning and hard work, recognizing the importance of truth, love, and forgiveness. Rochester is initially moody and reclusive, and harbors a dark secret, but is revealed to be caring and kind by the end. Many wealthy characters are seen to be cruel, frivolous, and preoccupied with class and status. Though there is good gender diversity amongst the characters, they are all predominantly white.
Violence & Scariness
There are a number of frightening scenes, in flashbacks and dream sequences, involving a kid being mistreated -- such as pulled by the ear and hit with a book. Ghosts are mentioned, as is death, and dead bodies are shown. A serious chest wound is seen in close-up, and characters are shown to be seriously ill, both physically and mentally, with one taking their own life. A home is set on fire on a few occasions, resulting in a character sustaining burns to the face and going blind.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss and hug. Sexual intercourse is shown in flashback, but it is very brief and there is no nudity.
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"Dammit" is used and name calling includes "brat" and "witch."
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Products & Purchases
Wealth and class are highly regarded, in keeping with society at the time.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes on a number of occasions.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jane Eyre is a gripping four-part drama, adapted from Charlotte Brontë's classic novel, and has some frightening scenes, including the mistreatment of a young child. It is set in the mid-19th century and follows the experiences of the orphaned Jane (Ruth Wilson) as she grows up to become a governess at a country estate. Mild violence and peril include frightening visions, suicide, and the abuse of a child -- they are pulled aggressively by the ear and hit with a book. Characters are shown to be seriously physically and mentally ill, and close-up injuries and dead bodies are shown. Religion features quite strongly, with mention of the devil and hell. Wealth and class are mentioned frequently, with prestige placed on both. Characters are, on occasion, seen drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. There is one very brief instance of sexual intercourse, though it involves no nudity. Adult themes and a serious, often tragic story make this unlikely to appeal to younger viewers.
Is It Any Good?
A story regularly adapted for stage and screen, this four-part drama remains faithful to the original classic novel by Charlotte Brontë. The setting of this 2006 version of Jane Eyre perfectly captures the tone -- in turn dark and claustrophobic, then wild and unpredictable, moving between the bleak, endless moors, the fading gothic grandeur of the mansion's interiors, and the gloomy, shadowy spaces of the orphanage. Nightmarish visions of childhood trauma and billowing, banshee-like presences are brought to vivid life as they stalk the characters' minds, the show refusing to turn too far from the harsh realities of the book.
Wilson was nominated for a Golden Globe as Jane, all stoic control until she's challenged by her deep need to be loved, flashes of fear, and desire. It's an excellent portrayal with Wilson adding depth and complexity throughout. Stephens' Rochester is more amiable than usual, less the tortured, overbearing recluse and more the weary bachelor looking for something more real than the polished society surrounding him. Dark, devastating, and undeniably gripping throughout, this sits confidently among the prolific adaptations of this literary classic.
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.