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 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."
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?