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 Runaways is an intense Web series about murder and the disappearance of two teens who might be involved in the crime. Though the killing act isn't shown in detail, the body and bloody crime scene are. Language is another concern (with "bitch," "s--t," "hell," "ass," and "dick" among the common choices), and some teens drink and take pills. Still, the show's sexual content is extra edgy for a teen-oriented show, skipping the nudity (men are shown bare-chested, but women aren't undressed) but offering brief looks at simulated sex (a couple gets busy in bed), hints at oral sex (a teen girl kneels in front of a guy and unzips his pants), and incorporating issues such as incest and sex with a minor.
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What's the story?
RUNAWAYS opens shortly after the simultaneous disappearance of two teens from an elite high school and the discovery of a murder victim in a nearby residence. As the investigation proceeds and suspicions fall on one person and then another, five teens are embroiled in the discovery process. The story of Kaylee (Karalyn Dunton) and Mason's (Grant Harvey) controversial relationship unfolds through the recollections of classmates Keesha (Noell Coet), Jared (Pierson Fode), Glinda (Sideara St. Claire), Lily (Kelcie Stranahan), and Trevor (Alexi Torres), as well as Kaylee's younger sister, Anne (Stevie Lynn Jones), all of whom have secrets of their own that will come to light in the process, making the truth more disturbing than anyone originally thought.
Is it any good?
Runaways is a scintillating drama series that's tailored toward teen viewers, with angst, secrets, and fateful romance to spare. Think Pretty Little Liars meets every other edgy drama with an absurdly beautiful teen cast. The story reels you in immediately with its spliced retrospective style that reveals the tale in tiny increments through the statements of those most closely acquainted with Kaylee and Mason's stories. With short episodes that run in length from four to seven minutes, each one gives you just enough to tempt you to come back for more. In other words, mission accomplished on keeping teens engaged.
Sexuality is a mainstay, and there are brief views of bedroom play and suggestions of casual sex (teens kiss and make out at parties), but the show does touch on some issues that may raise concerns if yours watch. In particular, there's a predatory relationship between a married man and one of the teen girls, plus a startling revelation of incest that's only briefly handled from the standpoint of the victim. With related topics such as STDs and open marriages, Runaways brings up a lot of issues of sexual behavior that you should discuss with your teen if he or she does watch, since the messages they'll get from this content might not be the ones you want them to have.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this series portrays families. Are any of the relationships between parents and teens healthy? Why are these kinds of characters enticing to watch?
What role does wealth (or lack thereof) play in the characters' actions? Is money a corrupting force in and of itself? To what degree is wealth a motivating force in your teens' future plans?
These teen characters' behavior suggests it's never possible to take a person at face value. Do your teens have experience with peers who are deceptive or manipulative? How do you deal with that type of personality? What role does social media play in people's abilities to invent a persona that's not theirs?
Themes & Topics
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