A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The spirit world plays an active role in the human world. Themes include racism and fear of communism. Racist and bigoted behavior is shown.
Positive Role Models
Tiago Vega and Lewis Michener are good LAPD police detectives who are often caught between doing their jobs and the disturbing political and social changes happening around them. Magda shape-shifts to manipulate people (usually men) to do her bidding.
Violence & Scariness
There is frequent graphic violence. People are shown being burned alive and shot. Grisly murder victims are shown bloody and mutilated.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Contains some strong sexual innuendo. Full frontal nudity is visible.
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Curses are frequent and include "goddamn," "bastard," "bulls--t" and "f--k.." Racial epithets like "spic" are common.
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Products & Purchases
This is an installment in the Penny Dreadful franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol, including tequila, hard liquor, martinis, and beer. Cigarette smoking is visible. One character is an alcoholic.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, a spinoff of the popular Penny Dreadful series, features all the violent and disturbing content the franchise is known for. People are gruesomely killed (burned alive, shot, etc.), and bloody, mutilated corpses are shown. There's some strong sexual innuendo and occasional full-frontal nudity. Cursing is frequent, and includes "goddamn," "bastard," "bulls--t" and "f--k," and racial epithets are also common. Characters drink an array of alcoholic beverages, and there's also cigarette smoking. Mexican-American culture and folklore, the spirit world, racism, political corruption, anti-Semitism, and nationalism are all central themes. This dark and violent supernatural drama is best for mature teens and adults.
Is It Any Good?
This well-crafted series combines the Victorian penny dreadful storytelling tradition with Southern California's political, industrial, and culturally-rich history to create a unique horror-filled experience. The narratives spun here are decidedly American, and the connection to its British past may seem distant. But Magda's presence is a constant reminder of the relationship, and her presence becomes inextricably linked with Mexican-American traditions and folklore involving the spirit world.
As the murder investigation collides with the supernatural, it creates a clever forum that highlights the disturbing political attitudes and racial tensions of the time. But Magda's demonic exploitation of these social ills serves to magnify the weaknesses of a divided society. The fact that some of the dialogue sounds similar to contemporary rhetoric is equally as disturbing. It may not be as gothic as the original, but Penny Dreadful: City of Angels offers an entertaining and well-produced series that's worth tuning into.
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.