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 show features some graphic violence, both inside and outside of the prison walls. Some episodes are much more violent than others are. It's occasionally bloody, and inmates occasionally terrorize women. Some lewd sexual comments are made. Criminals (both rightly and wrongly convicted) are portrayed in a sympathetic light.
What's the story?
Structural engineer Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is convinced that his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), has been wrongfully convicted of murdering the Vice President's brother. With Lincoln's execution date coming up, Michael robs a bank to get into jail alongside his brother so he can help him escape (he has intimate knowledge of the prison having had the blueprints for the jail tattooed on his torso). The brothers enlist the help of assorted crooks and cons in their elaborate plan to break out. On the outside, Lincoln's attorney (and ex-girlfriend) Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney) tries to uncover the truth about the murder and is targeted by a shadowy cabal bent on using Burrows as their fall guy and intimidating anyone who gets in their way, including Burrows' 15-year-old son, LJ (Marshall Allman).
Is it any good?
Part mystery, part action drama, PRISON BREAK offers intricate plotting and shocking twists. The show is not afraid of killing off characters, portraying criminals as sympathetic, or linking the conspirators directly to a high-ranking government official -- just the sort of "edginess" one would expect from Fox. Its fast pace leaves little room for character development, and the intricacy of the plot may confuse less loyal viewers.
The show's appeal lies in watching someone try to break out of prison by using brains rather than brawn. Along with the intrigue of the corrupt government plot, it promises to be of interest to action drama fans. While kids are drawn to many action movies and shows, parents might want to exercise caution in allowing their kids to watch PRISON BREAK. It's far too violent for younger viewers, and should be reserved for older teens and adults only.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not Michael's crime and subsequent attempt to break his brother out of jail are justified. What if Michael and Lincoln were friends instead of brothers? Would Michael still owe the same allegiance to him? Can "bad guys" also be role models? How does the show make us empathize with criminals?