A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Social rules of the 1950s are lampooned, such as when Lucy's mom warns her that marriage is "a waste" and having children is bound to "ruin your figure." Sex is viewed as powerful, even too powerful; something that causes people to make mistakes. Female empowerment, infidelity, and racial divides are themes.
Positive Role Models
Wealthy characters are often perverse and decadent, and use their wealth to push other characters around. Egyptian and African characters are given strong storylines, as are female characters. A cosseted and wealthy young woman learns to speak and act for herself, despite overbearing family.
Violence & Scariness
Violence can be sudden and shocking, like when a young boy is beaten for putting up a political poster; we see him with a bloody head and hear later that he's dead. Lucy's father is a weapons manufacturer; he gives Lucy a gun "just in case trouble comes calling"; viewers can expect that it will.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual content is strong and frequent: a sex worker in brief black lingerie rides on a man's back in a paid session, calling him "French piggy" before peeing on his face (we see a yellow stream of fluid as we view the woman from behind; the man groans in ecstasy); two men have sex with moaning and rhythmic movements; a woman tells a story about having sex and an orgasm while watching a public execution. There are brief glimpses of nude backsides, male and female.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Infrequent language includes "hell," "damn."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes in which characters drink to excess are common. Characters take medication doled out by (not entirely reliable) doctors, including (faux) pills Hilaryn (which will free Lucy from "distracting wants") and Nervacatil, which Lucy's mom Vanessa takes to sleep.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Little Birds is a series based on the book of erotic short stories of the same name by Anaïs Nin that follows the adventures of an heiress in 1955 who travels to Morocco to meet and marry her fiance yet winds up distracted by new and hedonistic friends. Sexuality is strong and frequent; expect brief nudity (male and female backsides), visuals of sex workers (including a scene in which a woman urinates on a client's face), same- and opposite-sex coupling, explicit stories involving sex, and more. Many scenes take place in bars with characters drinking, sometimes to excess; in other scenes, characters take pills doled out by doctors for questionable reasons. Violence can be sudden and shocking: a young boy is killed by political enemies; we see his bloody head and dead body briefly. Language is infrequent: "hell," "damn." Social rules and a woman's place in 1955 is lampooned, often by Lucy's mom Vanessa, who warns her that having children will "ruin" her "figure," and admonishes her to do "facial exercises" to keep looking young.
Is It Any Good?
A perverse and unusual book of literary erotica becomes a surreal and fetching narrative in this visually sumptuous and singular series. Juno Temple's natural British accent has been stifled into squeaky spoiled-American-girl cadences, but her eyes communicate Lucy's astonishment with, and then growing admiration of, the decadent Moroccan milieu in which she finds herself. Little Birds opens on Lucy as she's getting released from a mental hospital; her overly confident doctor advises her to take four of his own patented "mood-levelling tranquillity elixir" pills daily for freedom from "distracting wants and troublesome behaviors." Needless to say, it doesn't work. Though her intrusive daddy, a robber baron of the weapons world, lines up English nobleman Hugh to take charge of Lucy's wayward existence, by the time 48 hours have elapsed in Morocco, Lucy's already met the mysterious Cherifa and a whole host of what Hugh calls "reprobates" that she's immediately fascinated by.
And so the weird narrative of Little Birds winds on, through closeted 1955 gay male assignations, French-Moroccan political complications, and a friendship with fierce dominatrix Cherifa, whose fight for independence from the French colonialists who pay for her services mirrors Lucy's own struggle for sovereignty from her pushy parents and polite society. Don't expect much in the way of coherency -- Nin's book of the same title is a collection of disparate short stories linked mostly by a focus on female sexuality, and though the series hacks a narrative path through Nin's anecdotes, it's still loopy, with characters popping up, doing a turn, then suddenly disappearing and leaving story threads hanging. No matter; Little Birds is suffused with saturated colors: blue sky and sea, a cinnamon desert, Cherifa's one shining gold tooth. And with Lucy as our avatar we're happy, even eager, to follow her through her odd-but-seductive adventures.
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.