Parents' Guide to


By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dense drama charts the rise and fall of an epic fraud.

TV ABC Drama 2016
Madoff Poster Image

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Telling the story of Bernie Madoff's infamous Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of billions of dollars is as complicated as the scheme itself. But to make sense of Madoff, prior knowledge is a must. That's because this oddly plotted miniseries is so focused on Madoff himself -- to the point that his character doubles as the narrator -- that it neglects to explain the details of Madoff's scam, arrogantly assuming you already know them and, if you don't, expecting you to figure things out. The beginning, especially, is all over the place, though Madoff eventually gels into something you want to keep watching.

Teens won't share that interest though, as there's nothing here to attract them in the first place. And it's just as well, considering Madoff is one of the worst role models you could find. It's bad enough that he's lying to his friends and family, falsifying records, and pocketing huge sums of cash under false pretenses. But to cheat on his wife for years, inspire his own son's suicide, and con Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel out of his life savings -- all while demanding trust and loyalty from everyone around him -- is the definition of despicable.

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