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

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

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 bydiet cheery dr peper October 14, 2011


well i will admit i am not a parent but i am a christian man who knows just what i like and i love this show but be for warned sexual content varies from week... Continue reading
Adult Written byInSync November 28, 2011

Good For Adults, Bad For Kids

Definetely not for kids. It is more of an adult drama series than a teen show. Involves a lot of sexual contact and alcohol use and abuse. 4/5 for story plot an... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycnp77 October 20, 2011

this show is great!

I am 13 years old and I love the show, its a suspenseful drama that leaves you wanting more every week. The show is called "Revenge" so obviously ther... 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

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

For kids who love drama

Our editors recommend

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