TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Runaways TV Poster Image
Tantalizing teen drama raises sensitive topics of sexuality.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Secrets and deception surround all the characters, and it's never certain who's telling the truth. Everyone has skeletons in the closet, and money and power often help protect wrongdoers from consequences. The ideas of love conquering all and self-sacrifice for a loved one are recurring themes. Family is rarely a safe haven, as many secrets exist in those environments as well. The idea of a caste system within the private school society is explored. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters' sympathies often change as their secrets unfold and their motivations are realized. No one is without fault, but the actions of some are less forgivable than those of others. Adults are noticeably terrible role models, from a molesting parent to a troubled school principal. 


Graphic shots of a murder scene with bloody handprints and the victim's body. Suggestion of domestic violence and rape. In one scene, a teen holds a knife to her wrist, contemplating hurting herself. 


Simulated sex, but no sensitive nudity. Extramarital affairs, including one between a man and an underage teen. Related issues such as STDs and incest. Suggestive scenes show a girl unbuttoning a guy's pants as she kneels in front of him. Talk of a guy's sexual prowess.


"S--t," "bitch," "hell," "ass," and "dick."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink and do shots at parties and at least one pops pills to cope with stress.  

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLadysteph July 6, 2020

Not for kids

Seeing Marvel, we thought it might be a good show for our kids. About 15-20 min in, we shut it off and my kids agreed that it was for older teenagers. It could’... Continue reading
Adult Written byTessa D. February 13, 2018


It’s a really good serie. I don’t understand why there are just 4 episodes.... i want to see the rest off the serie but can’t find it on the internet

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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?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love teen drama

Themes & Topics

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