Paradise Lost

TV review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Paradise Lost TV Poster Image
Half-baked Southern mystery series has some violence.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Family is important, but not when they use you for their own needs. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Frances is a fish out of water who seems to care for her clients. 

Violence

A character is attacked by a wild boar. A mysterious sexual crime is shown in flashbacks. 

Sex

Characters have sex in bed, no nudity. 

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "bitch," "p---y." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer and whiskey. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Paradise Lost is a drama series about a man who returns to his Southern family after being away for many years. Yates Forsythe (Josh Hartnett) is called back to his family home in Mississippi by his father, Judge Forsythe, played by Nick Nolte. Being back home has its perks, but Yates also is forced to reckon with a mysterious crime from the past that the rest of the town hasn't forgotten. Characters have sex in bed, but no nudity is shown. Profanity includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "p---y." 

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What's the story?

In PARADISE LOST, Yates Forsythe (Josh Hartnett) is called back to his family home in Mississippi by his father, Judge Forsythe. Being back home has its perks; his wife Frances is able to set up her psychiatry practice and they have a beautiful home, but Yates also is now forced to reckon with a mysterious crime from the past that the rest of the town hasn't forgotten, especially Frances' patient Boyd Sutree, whose visions may be based on something real. 

Is it any good?

This southern-fried mystery pulls out all the stops of the genre (whiskey on the plantation house verandah, hunting, gators, and the like), but the end result doesn't hold a candle to its clear inspirations. Tennessee Williams and Elmore Leonard were able to tell specifically southern stories with heart and intrigue, and even Sharp Objects, with which Paradise Lost shares a lot of parallels, combined traditional vibes with modern troubles in a more authentic way. Hartnett is still charming, but it's the supporting characters that truly carry the weight, especially the troubled Sutree, who seems to hold the key to the central mystery. Whether it's worth sticking around for the reveal, though, depends on the viewer's patience.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the American South. What makes it the setting for so many movies and TV shows like Paradise Lost

  • Why do you think people have such strong attachments to their hometowns? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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