Parents' Guide to

Little Women

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Strong female characters shine in classic book adaptation.

TV PBS Drama 2018
Little Women Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 9+


Honestly, we wanted to love this movie, but it just didn't hold up as well as the Winona Ryder version from the 1990's. Yes, we're that family that has read the book and seen BOTH versions of the movie. In this one, the March girls are oddly all about the same age. Which confused the kids. It's also clearly a British production, not that I have anything against the Brits, but this is a classic American book and it just feels like BBC. Which normally I enjoy, but this time, not so much. It just wasn't as emotional as the 1994 version, or as interesting as the book.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 9+

This version is odd, others are better.

In order of preference, based on my children's level of interest and/or boredom; 1. the Winona Ryder/Christian Bale version from the 90's. 2. the Katherine Hepburn movie from the 30's. 3. This one, in which they have odd accents, and all the sisters appear to be the same age.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This interpretation of Alcott's work is beautifully and creatively adapted. Its ensemble cast is impeccably suited to their respective roles, with a notable performance by Angela Lansbury as the sharp-tongued Aunt March, and the welcome presence of Michael Gambon as the Marches' neighbor, Mr. Lawrence. Hawke's Jo is divine, expertly treading the thin line between feminine futurist and troublemaker, and ever delighting viewers with ideas that challenge the norms of her time and are more in line with the feminine experience of today. This series' use of music and transitionary scenes of nature are nontraditional, but they give this version a flair that's distinct from those before it.

What this version of Little Women doesn't tamper with is Alcott's emphasis on family relationships, overcoming struggles, perseverance, coping with loss, and finding yourself. The characters' individual evolutions are stories unto themselves, and juxtaposing them creates a tapestry of representations of life and love as experienced by different people with varying personalities. Because of the richness of the emotions experienced, this series is great for a teen audience, but its compelling storytelling is a worthwhile choice for parents to watch alongside them.

TV Details

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