A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this pay-cable drama includes edgy sexual scenarios that, while they fall short of being visually explicit, are nonetheless decidedly mature. (For instance, in one scene a man moans inexplicably until a woman's head pops up from below.) Highly charged scenes occur between a young man and a teen girl, including lots of innuendo and direct discussion of his erection, and there are several scenes in which an older woman undresses for a younger man (including one scene in which she masturbates while he watches from his window). Violence includes a swift, cruel cleat to the head that results in a bloody injury; swearing is uncensored; and characters drink and smoke.
What's the story?
This strange, dark family drama centers on the Brogan family, who've relocated through the witness protection program to a sort of netherworld called MEADOWLANDS. The planned community, it turns out, is packed with other misfits and secret-holders, a group that the Brogans -- roguishly sexy dad Danny (David Morrissey), impetuous mom Evelyn (Lucy Cohu), wise-beyond-her-years teen Zoe (Felicity Jones), and her odd twin brother Mark (Harry Treadaway) -- fit into quite nicely. Interactions with their fellow community members -- including their bubbly, nosy neighbor, a sexed-up handyman, and the gruesomely convincing sheriff -- quickly have the Brogans both charmed and alarmed.
Is it any good?
With plenty of mysteries to unravel, Meadowlands is a stylish, edgy drama (with a touch of camp) that will draw viewers into its web. Though the show's teen characters are a huge part of its appeal, the series is definitely adult material. With all of the sex, violence, uncensored profanity, and scary, emotional situations, be sure to tune in after the kids are in bed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why so many pay-cable series include so much edgy content. Have people come to expect uncensored sex, swearing, and violence from channels like HBO and Showtime? Do those things make their shows better than what's on the networks and basic cable? Why or why not? Families can also discuss starting over. Have you ever moved to a new home or become part of a new family? How did it feel, and what issues came up? What do you think it would be like to be in the witness protection program? What would you miss most about your old identity?