A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Killjoys is a mystery/thriller set in a futuristic world. Main characters are bounty hunters; in each episode their goal is to stalk, capture, and sometimes kill targets. Dead bodies are shown, as are blood, gore, and wounds. Action is often presented lightly with vivid colors and witty dialogue, but the reality is that characters are nearly always in danger. Expect rough language in the form of frequent unbleeped cursing ("s--t" and "bitch") and vulgar expressions for sex and body parts. Scenes take place in bars and characters drink cocktails, but no one acts drunk. There's flirting, dating, and references to sex. Women are shown in positions of power, and the cast boasts extensive racial and ethnic diversity.
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What's the story?
In a futuristic world, three fearless young adventurers are KILLJOYS, hunting down and capturing those who have run afoul with the law -- or, at least, with the Quad, the planetary federation that unites the worlds where Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), John Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore), and D'avin (Luke Macfarlane) make their turf. They have their work cut out for them. Not only does tough leader Dutch have a mysterious past that's coming back to haunt her, but brothers John and D'avin have a contentious history and a dangerous present. Various factions of the Quad are interested in the trio of killjoys, for reasons that have yet to be revealed, while the threat of an interplanetary war grows ever closer.
Is it any good?
Quippy, kicky, and boasting smart writing and appealing actors, Killjoys is the kind of buzzy show that sci-fi fans will appreciate, even though you've seen its setup and characters before. The details of the world that these interplanetary bounty hunters (who'd prefer to be called "reclamation agents") inhabit are sketched in quickly: futuristic government entity, futuristic weapons and tools, futuristic capabilities. Nothing is explained to the audience, which is perfect. We don't have to know what's in that hypodermic needle to know it's bad business; we don't need to understand how the Quad came to be to know the same thing.
Instead, Killjoys concentrates on racing through the plot, showing its audience some gee-whiz ideas, and advancing the story lines of its intriguing characters, chiefly John-Kamen as Dutch, a Ripley-esque badass whose unusual past is revealed in Kung Fu-like flashbacks. It's a lot of fun, comes with a healthy dose of camp, and overall is light enough for mature tweens or teens and parents to watch together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Costume designers, set dressers, and makeup people are often tasked with making modern actors look like they're from the future. What elements can you identify in Killjoys that are doing this job?
Sci-fi shows and movies often have main characters who are mercenaries, spies, or bounty hunters. Why? What dramatic possibilities do these professions offer?