A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Show follows family's journey through grief after loss. Presents raw emotions including anger, sadness, uncertainty in adults and teens as characters cope with grief in different ways. A main character keeps a secret about her mom from her family, knowing the truth would devastate them. Some rebellious teen behavior, including smoking on-screen, references to getting high and drunk. Prominent themes of perseverance, overcoming adversity.
Positive Role Models
Characters deal with their feelings in different ways, not all of which are entirely healthy. Maddie and Scout both have moments of aggression. John turns his grief into determination to keep his family together and be successful in his job. As story evolves, they come to terms with loss and find better ways to relate. Sarah is cast as perfect wife and mother, but Maddie hints at knowing that she had flaws, too.
Violence & Scariness
Some rescue scenes show graphic injuries like compound fractures and perilous scenarios that could be fatal for the victims. Other incidents happen offscreen, but effects are shown afterward, as when Maddie punches a classmate and leaves her with bloody lip and bruises.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing between married couples and teen couples. References to STDs.
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Rarely "damn," "bitch," "hell," and "sucks."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some scenes of teens smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Maddie comes home drunk and high in an act of rebellion.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Northern Rescue is a Canadian drama about a family trying to cope with and move past the loss of their wife/mom. Their emotional journey involves intense grief, sadness, anger, and fear. Teens rebel in potentially harmful ways like drinking and getting high (it's not shown, but a character comes home under the influence) and beating up a classmate (it happens offscreen, but injuries are visible). Expect occasional language like "bitch," "damn," and "sucks." Teen and adult couples kiss, and there's potential danger in a main character's work in search and rescue. But this compelling series also has strong themes of perseverance and overcoming adversity. William Baldwin stars.
Is It Any Good?
That this moving drama series doesn't shy away from telling a story about how bad life can be sometimes may not sound like a selling point, but it is. The show is a little slow to gain traction and isn't compelling right from the start, but when the characters' individual personalities evolve, you're drawn into their lengthy and turbulent healing and restarting process. John tries to balance being strong with being emotionally available for his kids, and they wrestle with their loss in different ways and with different measures of success.
As family dramas go, Northern Rescue makes a strong case for a place near the top of watch-together TV for parents and teens. It deals thoughtfully with emotion, teen rebellion, family discord, and life-altering loss, raising several potential discussion points for families. At the same time, the story presents characters who overcome challenges by leaning on each other and being open to change.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.