A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Characters go to great lengths to help one another, but the things they do in the process are largely immoral and in some cases illegal.
Positive Role Models
None of these characters are a good influence on each other.
Some diversity in featuring characters from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, and women in non-traditional jobs. Some family structures portrayed do not fit the heteronormative mold.
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Violence & Scariness
Within the first 15 minutes of the series we've seen someone catch on fire, cops examining the mutilated corpses of murder victims, and a man taking a bitcher knife to his arm to extract the blood his daughter then drinks. There is violence against (CGI) animals, a storyline involving some truly nasty school-age bullies (who tell their target "You should kill yourself!"), and regular physical violence.
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Expletives inclue "damn", "hell", "s--t", "f--k", "a----le" and related variations.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters share bottles of wine and booze. One storyline focuses on the scientist daughter of a disgraced opioid manufacturer who creates and tests various drugs in her lab, using both animal and human test subjects. A character participates in Narcotics Anonymous meetings. A subplot deals with a mysterious drug making its way around the city which mimics the characteristics of vampirism in the people who take it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Let the Right One In is a horror series inspired by the acclaimed Swedish novel and film of the same name, which came out in 2004 and 2008, respectively. The story concerns a child vampire and her adult companion -- in this version, he's her dad -- and she is shown physically harming humans and drinking blood. Violence is depicted regularly (from fistfights to murder), and a group of bullies encourage a classmate to kill himself. There are some graphic scenes of animals being hurt (they are CGI), bodies are dismembered and shoved into barrels. Language is definitely salty; adults regularly drop f-bombs and a kid in school repeatedly uses the word "s--t". There's some wine and booze-drinking by adults, and references to opioids (they are portrayed in a negative light).
Is It Any Good?
The original Swedish film that inspired this series has remained a uniquely memorable experience and one that this new iteration, like the American film reboot before it, fails to top. This Let the Right One In takes specific elements from its predecessor and uses them as a jumping-off point, which is a perfectly acceptable thing to do if the changes made and the narrative built around this framework add something new or interesting. Unfortunately, the show's efforts to distinguish itself only result in it collapsing under the weight of its own ambitions.
There are just too many storylines going on here at one time, too much awkward exposition shoehorned in via drawn-out speeches, and an overall lack of focus. It's not a great sign when a horror series can also double as a cookie-cutter network crime procedural, a banal medical drama, or a family-centered tearjerker. Regarding the emphasis on family, the choice to make Eli's caretaker her actual father is a misguided one that comes across as corny, retaining none of the magic and mystery of the source material. The writers seem to have taken a throw-it-all-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, which gives the show a lethargic, messy vibe that really isn't worth sticking around for.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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