A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Dark, violent drama contains some subtle messaging about good overcoming evil.
Positive Role Models
Strong female characters in both lead and supporting roles. Focuses on the strength of family bonds, even in difficult situations.
Violence & Scariness
Characters are shot and beaten with a shovel. Mentally ill characters frequently inflict self-harm, including cutting themselves. A man verbally threatens a woman with physical and sexual violence. A scary creature is briefly glimpsed. Contains some blood and gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple embrace and kiss intimately in bed.
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"F--k" and variations of it are used frequently. Inappropriate language also includes "bitch" and "Jesus."
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Products & Purchases
Based on a Stephen King novel available for purchase.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters appear drunk. Pills and prescription medicines are shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lisey's Story is a mature mystery-drama series based on the 2006 Stephen King novel of the same name. It contains violence, including characters being shot and beaten with a shovel, as well as some blood and gore. There's a focus on mentally ill characters inflicting self-harm, including cutting themselves. Characters also suffer from grief and other emotional traumas. Foul language includes frequent use of "f--k" and its variations, as well as "bitch" and "Jesus." A male character threatens a female character with sexual and physical violence. Potentially scary imagery includes glimpses of a monstrous creature and a character in a catatonic state. A couple in bed, covered by sheets, are intimate. Characters appear drunk, and pills and prescription medicines are shown.
Is It Any Good?
Stephen King's passionate followers have had no shortage of TV adaptations of the author's work to dig into lately; sadly, they may wish to leave Lisey's Story at the bottom of the pile. But as 2020's The Outsider and this year's The Stand proved, not all of these small-screen takes are created equal -- while the former was one of the better King adapts in recent memory, the latter left many fans disappointed, as Lisey's Story is likely to do.
The series is beautifully shot, features stellar performances and production values, and oozes with haunting atmosphere. That said, its story rarely achieves the high bar set by these other elements. While it generally does a decent job balancing its various genre influences, the narrative relies too heavily on disjointed, sloppily placed sequences that often switch between dreams, nightmares, alternate realities, flashbacks, and even flashbacks within flashbacks. Toss in a meandering pace that fails to keep the series' stretched-thin mysteries compelling, and Lisey's Story is best left to the pages of King's original novel.
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.