Marvel's Cloak & Dagger

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Marvel's Cloak & Dagger TV Poster Image
Sex, drugs, police violence in gritty teen superhero tale.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

As in most superhero shows, the focus is on preventing violence and opposing crime. Scenes of police violence and corruption send a message that authority figures can't always be trusted. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A young black man and teen girl are the heroes of this series, both underrepresented on TV. Tandy in particular is flawed as the series begins -- she's a thief and sometimes runaway -- but both she and Ty as well as other characters grow emotionally as the series progresses. 

Violence

Gore is not explicit but violence may be particularly disturbing. To wit: a young girl and her father plunge into the water during a car accident and he's killed; we see her shaking her father's shoulder crying "Daddy? Daddy?" piteously. A teenage boy is shot twice in the chest by police officers; we see blood before he falls into the water and later his parents weep and grieve over his death. A man attempts to sexually assault a teen girl, kissing her roughly and backing her up against a wall while she cries and screams. 

Sex

Sexual content is a bit more intense than parents might expect. For example, in one scene, a teen girl moves rhythmically atop a teen boy before climbing off; the two then talk obliquely about how they just had sex. In another, a girl flirts with an older man as a prelude to drugging and robbing him; while waiting for him to pass out he kisses her roughly, strokes her thighs, and asks if it's going to "happen" for them. 

Language

Language and cursing includes "prick," "bitch," "damn," "a--hole." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Images of drug use and drinking, including a teen crushing a stolen prescription pill with a key and snorting it before passing out, and teens routinely drinking beer and other drinks at bars and parties -- no one questions the consumption. A girl slips "something" into a man's drink so he will pass out and she can rob him. A parent drinks brown liquor at breakfast and is called an alcoholic and asked if she's drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marvel's Cloak & Dagger is a series about two teens who discover they have super powers. Sex, violence, and other mature content may be more intense than parents may expect from a show about teens. Relevant examples: teens are shown in the midst of sex (no nudity), a man tries to rape a teen girl, a father and small child fall into the water in a car after an auto accident and he is killed, a girl drugs a man in order to steal from him and snorts a stolen prescription pill before passing out. Teens drink routinely at parties and social events, and at least one parent is an alcoholic who drinks straight brown liquor at breakfast. A teen boy is shot by corrupt police officers. Sci-fi violence includes people being trapped in unearthly dimensions and stabbed or thrown through the air by beams of light. Language and cursing includes "prick," "bitch," "damn," "a--hole." The heroes of this show are a young woman and a young black man, both underrepresented as protagonists on TV and at the movies. 

User Reviews

Parent of a 11 year old Written bymelty36 June 12, 2018

Very Grown UP content-underage drinking, drugs, stealing, and implied sex

SPOILER ALERTS 1st episode. So I decided to sit down and watch with my 11 yr old last night as he's into Marvel and I thought that it would be a bonding e... Continue reading
Parent of a 13 and 16 year old Written byKdecky June 15, 2018

Too adult for a family show.

I was looking for a show to watch as a family and was very disappointed when I sat down with my 12 and 15 year old sons and there was drug use, a sex scene and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWRuss June 7, 2018

Sex and drugs in Marvel TV show

So it is a good, gritty, teen drama, there is quite a bit of sex, and a brief about 10 second use of cocaine, and there also is mild swearing. So if you parents... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byZoePhillips2 June 8, 2018

Not What I was Expecting

With Agents of Shield ending next year, me and my friends wanted a new marvel show to watch. We saw the commercials, and it looked like a cool show with tons of... Continue reading

What's the story?

As MARVEL'S CLOAK & DAGGER opens, Tyrone "Ty" Johnson (Aubrey Joseph)  and Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) are just a couple of ordinary teenagers on the mean streets of a big city, albeit teens with a tragic past and uncertain futures. But when Ty and Tandy have a chance meeting, they realize three things: they've met before, there's a powerful attraction between them, and each has strange abilities that suddenly reveal themselves. With the powers of light and darkness at their command, Ty (alias "Cloak") and Tandy (alias "Dagger") set out to right the wrongs that society, authority, and a villainous corporation have done to them. 

Is it any good?

Grittier and more realistic than similar teen-superhero show Runaways, this series focuses on a couple of misfit outsiders who suddenly discover they can do things other people can't. What misfit doesn't nurture a secret fantasy of being special? Together, Tandy and Ty can do big things, even if it takes them a while, awkward Peter Parker-style, to figure out exactly what. Unlike other superheroes who we meet in the full flower of their superheroics, the ones in Marvel's Cloak & Dagger are fledgling superhumans still in the learning process. 

While they work it out, viewers will quickly warm to the struggles both face. Tandy is a sneaky thief and a dropout, practically abandoned by her single-parent mom. Ty's a great big neurotic mess, struggling with his grieving parents' expectations at home and his painful shyness at school. Both of them are misused and abused by the authority figures in their lives, to say nothing of the Big Bad corporation that quickly emerges as an environmental and political villain. Sure, these teens have unearthly powers on their side. But with so many forces gathering against them, they'll need every bit of power they can unleash just to make it out alive. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different genres Marvel's Cloak & Dagger fits into. Is it a superhero show? A teen soap opera? A drama about an evil corporation? Does the mix of genres make this show more interesting, or less so? 

  • Superhero dramas are experiencing a moment on TV and at the movies. Why? Why do average people want to watch people who have extraordinary abilities? What about these stories are appealing to viewers? What kind of viewer is most likely to watch this particular superhero story? 

  • How do Ty and Tandy demonstrate courage and teamwork in opposing evildoers? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

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