TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Meadowlands TV Poster Image
Moody, mature family drama is full of mystery.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The Brogans are generally loving and kind, though the father has a criminal past and the mother sometimes acts irresponsibly. Daughter Zoe is very smart and sassy, using her sexuality for gain. Other characters are mysterious -- some may appear good and be bad and vice versa. The main characters are all Caucasian. One young female character is full-figured, and her weight is part of a prominent storyline that deals cleverly with body size.


Violence isn't constant, but there are some very intense moments -- like when one character kicks another in the head while wearing a cleat, bloodying and seriously injuring him. Another scene shows the same man returning from an encounter with a bloody tooth held in pliers, indicating an extraction.


Highly charged sexual scenes don't show all that much, but they imply a lot. Rough blow job scene (act is performed off screen), passionate kissing and foreplay, a teen girl flirts with an older man and talks about his erection, an older woman masturbates while a teen boy watches, and more.


Regular cursing, including "f--k."


Rare product placements, such as Mercedes. The show is presumably set in Britain, so brands aren't always recognizable to American audiences.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking at parties. Danny runs a bar. Some minor characters smoke.

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.

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Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

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?

TV details

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