Losing Alice

TV review by
Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media
Losing Alice TV Poster Image
Tense, complex erotic thriller has sex, alcohol, drugs.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There isn't much in the way of positive messages. The story is about the drama that unfolds between flawed, selfish characters.

Positive Role Models

There don't seem to be any positive role models. Alice is insecure, her husband at first seems caring but later turns selfish, and Sophie would appear to be a psychopath.

Violence

The series begins with a suicide (a young woman shoots herself) -- it's unclear if it was supposed to have "actually" happened or was depicted in a movie. The main young woman in the show has a verbally violent fight with her boyfriend that happens off camera.

Sex

In the first few episodes, Alice and her husband, David, have sex; we later see he has sex with Sophie (we don't know if this is real or in a movie). We do see him suck on Sophie's toes. Sophie also takes a nude swim.

Language

The words "s--t,"f--k," and "blowjob" are used -- they're spoken in Hebrew if you watch the un-dubbed version.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine, beer, and hard alcohol. At one point after overindulging, Alice fails a DUI test. We also see characters smoke marijuana -- one does so while driving a boat.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Losing Alice is an Israeli noir thriller series that focuses on the ennui of a middle-aged woman who was a celebrated director before having a family. A troubled but talented young woman is obsessed with Alice and choreographs ways to entwine their lives. A suicide is depicted in the first five minutes of the first episode, and we learn that another character (whom we don't meet) also committed suicide. Alice and others engage in such dangerous behaviors as driving while inebriated and swimming while drunk and/or high. The characters occasionally say "s--t," "f--k," and "blowjob." We see a couple of sex scenes involving Alice's husband (he's nude), as well as the young woman, Sophie's, back side and breasts.

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What's the story?

LOSING ALICE opens with a jarring suicide scene. From there, viewers struggle to know if it really happened or was filmed as part of the movie that famed director Alice (Ayelet Zurer) made from a screenplay by Sophie (Lihi Kornowski), a talented young obsessive fan. The erotic thriller unfolds slowy, as we see that Sophie has engineered the women's "chance" meeting on a train that begins their relationship. Sophie weaves herself into Alice's life -- her husband, actor David (Gal Toren), is cast in the movie; the original director conveniently dies so that Alice can take the reins; Sophie even befriends the couple's young children. Along the way, Sophie encourages many encounters to become sexual or erotic with Alice, David, and seemingly any adult she meets. Where will the family's entanglement with Sophie lead?

Is it any good?

The latest show about a middle-aged, economically fortunate woman whose life is upended (a la Big Little Lies, Dead to Me, The Undoing) is simultaneously mundane and shocking, engaging and enraging. From the two strangers' first "accidental" meeting on a train, young screenwriter Sophie begins to insinuate herself into Alice's life in a way that makes viewers say "Run!" but also "How far will she go?" In Losing Alice the camera stays on Ayelet Zurer's face as the title character for long stretches, revealing her emotions far more than her words do. Alice is annoyed but intrigued with Sophie, then turns jealous as she learns that her husband is attached to star in the movie Sophie has written (about a young woman who kills herself when she learns her best friend is sleeping with her father), and as time goes on she's delighted, inspired, aroused, and frightened by her.

Instead of Losing Alice, the show could be called "Finding Ayelet" -- the actress herself is more thrilling than the material itself, which can feel predictable. If Zurer's captivating performance here is any indication, she has a long successful career still ahead of her.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how marriage and family life are depicted in Losing Alice and other series that aren't intended for children, as compared to those that are more family-friendly. 

  • Families can talk about the way women are portrayed on television and why main female characters tend to be such a rarity. Are women on TV more often shown working together or working against each other? What about on Losing Alice? How do TV stereotypes match up to the behavior of the women you know in real life? 

TV details

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