TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Revenge TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Soapy drama mixes high society and adultery with betrayal.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There's an ongoing theme of forgiveness vs. revenge, but as evidenced by the title, revenge wins out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A few characters have good -- or at least neutral -- intentions, but the main character is bent on causing serious harm to others who have wronged her, a brand of harm that doesn't have to physical to be vicious.


Some sudden moments of violence, including shootings with minimal blood. Characters also harm others in ways that aren't necessarily physical.


Kissing and implied sex, but no nudity. Characters engage in extramarital affairs, but with typically negative consequences. One recurring character is a stripper.


Infrequent use of terms like "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, with some underage characters attempting to drink. One character is a recovering alcoholic. References to drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this soapy drama mixes in some iffy concepts when it comes to getting revenge on people who've wronged you in the past. There's also implied sex (but no nudity) and characters who engage in adultery. Social drinking is typical; one character is a recovering alcoholic who no longer drinks, and some underage characters try to drink alcohol. There are several violent incidents, too, involving guns and a little blood, along with low-level curse words like "ass."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycieli November 10, 2014

It's a good TV show but it's really not for kids!!

It's a good TV show but it's really not for kids!!
There's no great rile models and there's to many things that kids shouldn't think ab... Continue reading
Parent of a 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9-year-old Written by4betterrollmodels December 19, 2012

Not recommended for children of any age.

Although entertaining for adults with a normal mentality, this show is so negative in respect to moral values that should be present in today's society, I... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byCriminal_Minds September 26, 2011

Surprisingly good!

I thought it was very good! It is mysterious, clever, suspenceful, full of drama! There might be some parts you kid doesn't understand fully. There are som... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCamille Engelson August 4, 2016

Revenge Review

You should have a mature understanding of concepts like revenge and adultery, as in you shouldn't be impressionable on these topics! This show is an excell... Continue reading

What's the story?

Years after losing her father -– and everything she once held dear -– Emily Thorne (Emily VanKamp) moves into a posh Southampton beach house with plans to wage REVENGE on those responsible for her pain. But nobody seems to remember that she once lived there before, nor suspect that her objectives are anything but innocent. High on her hit list is wealthy socialite Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe), who conveniently lives just next door.

Is it any good?

In a way, Revenge feels like it's playing on the wrong network, having more in common in terms of feel and superficial characters with teen-oriented primetime soaps like the CW’s Gossip Girl. And maybe that's why, on ABC, it feels like a particularly lightweight contender for serious ratings. Nevertheless, the central story gets its inspiration from a serious work of fiction, Alexandre Dumas' classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo.


Of course, those who've read the book will rightly recognize that Emily Thorne is no Monte Cristo -- but Revenge's glammy tone and unapologetic soapiness also make it clear that she isn't really meant to be. So if you're willing to accept the series for what it is, Revenge may yield sufficiently guilty rewards.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's central theme of forgiveness vs. revenge. What are the negative consequences of choosing revenge, as the show's main character has done? Would it be possible for her to move on without causing harm or pain to others who've wronged her in the past?

  • Have you read Alexandre Dumas' classic novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, upon which this show is loosely based (or seen the 2002 film adaptation)? What are the similarities and differences between the two works? How have this show's producers modernized the story?

  • Who's the target audience for this type of drama -- teens or adults? How can you tell? Does it resemble any other TV dramas?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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