TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Kidnapped TV Poster Image
Violent serial drama lacks real suspense.

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Kids say

age 13+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

When it comes to morality, it's a slippery slope -- and absolute role models are hard to find. Almost every character dabbles in dishonesty at least once, although illegal deeds are usually done in pursuit of a positive outcome.


Although gory violence isn't a persistent theme, it's pretty graphic (and often bloody) when it pops up. Guns appear in just about every episode, with a few fiery explosions thrown in to spice things up. Within the first five minutes of the first episode, a man is shown getting his head blown off with a gun at close range in the presence of two minors, and blood splatters all over the inside of an SUV.


Nothing obvious, although there are allusions to one character's extra-marital affairs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this dramatic thriller isn't a show for young children -- or for the faint of heart. Violence, though not constant, is strong and harsh (for example, a man is shown getting his head blown off at close range in the presence of two minors, complete with blood spatters), and the subject matter -- kidnapping -- could upset sensitive viewers. On the plus side, despite the show's graphic scenes, its language remains surprisingly clean. The characters are complex and conflicted, and none are clear role models.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bypufflepink16 April 21, 2012

its fine

its fine just stay with them

What's the story?

In KIDNAPPED, appearances are everything for prominent Manhattanites Conrad and Ellie Cain (Timothy Hutton and Dana Delany), until their teenage son, Leopold (Will Denton), is mysteriously kidnapped on his way to school and held for ransom. With hopes of keeping the incident out of the papers, they hire former FBI agent-turned-assassin Knapp (Jeremy Sisto) to bring him back in one piece and ax his assailants. But when current FBI agent Latimer King (Delroy Lindo) gets suspicious and involved, all bets are off.

Is it any good?

draws obvious inspiration from the Emmy Award-winning drama 24, but it pales in comparison on almost every level. For one thing, the characters have potential but are ultimately vague and forgettable, and for another, the sluggish pacing fails to capture the sense of urgency the producers were shooting for. There may be salvation in the Cains' heavily guarded secrets, shocking truths that are kept from the audience and slowly parceled out as the series unfolds. But since Kidnapped doesn't do nearly enough to rope viewers in from the outset, there isn't much chance that they'll stick around to see how it all turns out.

Parents be warned: In addition to having adult themes, Kidnapped can also be very violent and bloody. The violence isn't constant, but when it pops up, it's graphic -- just one of the reasons this show is best for teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they see any part of themselves in the dysfunctional clan at the center of the action. How can parents connect with teenagers on a meaningful level without driving them away or turning them off? Teens might want to think about what they would do if they were abducted. Would they wait for help or try to save themselves? And is it ever OK to break the law in pursuit of a positive goal -- i.e., saving your life or that of your child?

TV details

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