By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Soapy drama mixes high society and adultery with betrayal.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's an ongoing theme of forgiveness vs. revenge, but as evidenced by the title, revenge wins out.
Positive Role Models
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.
Violence & Scariness
Some sudden moments of violence, including shootings with minimal blood. Characters also harm others in ways that aren't necessarily physical.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing and implied sex, but no nudity. Characters engage in extramarital affairs, but with typically negative consequences. One recurring character is a stripper.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Infrequent use of terms like "ass."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking, with some underage characters attempting to drink. One character is a recovering alcoholic. References to drug use.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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."
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 4 parent reviews
It's a good TV show but it's really not for kids!!
Report this review
Not recommended for children of any age.
Report this review
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?
- Premiere date: September 21, 2011
- Cast: Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann, Madeleine Stowe
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Drama TV for Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate