A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Family, power, and revenge are major themes. Racism and classism within Black communities, and the negotiation of beauty standards and Whiteness, are also central to the story.
Positive Role Models
Zinhe is driven by revenge, and most of the cast has their hands dirty in some way. However, a few members of the Bhengu family sometimes offer moments of moral consciousness.
Most of the cast is Black African, but Afrikaaners are present. Some characters are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
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Violence & Scariness
Exploitation, death, and trauma are major themes. Guns are visible, and an execution is shown. Bloody sores and injuries are regularly visible.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Contains sexual content, including some simulated sex scenes. Women are shown in underwear, and nudity (bare bottoms, partial breasts) is visible. A budding romance and extramarital relationships are featured. Marriage and the desire for children is a theme.
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Curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are spoken frequently; strong language like "damn" and "bitch" is audible.
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Products & Purchases
Various car brands/logos are seen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol. Cocaine use is shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Savage Beauty is an edgy South African drama that focuses on revenge, power, family dysfunction, and the controversial negotiation of African Blackness and beauty standards. It features mature storylines about child exploitation, illegal businesses dealings, marriage and child bearing, and infidelity, just to name a few. There's also cursing, strong violence, sexual content (including nudity), drinking, and drug use. The series is primarily in English; non-English conversations are subtitled.
Is It Any Good?
The edgy South African soap opera offers a binge-worthy experience by featuring lots of family dysfunction, steamy sexual entanglements, and vengeful narratives. Context is important here: Savage Beauty is firmly rooted in the country where it's produced, as is reflected in its bilingualism, and the plotlines associated with the taking of multiple wives, its unique ban on controversial skin-lightening products, and the public's continual negotiation of Blackness and beauty standards. While these details make the show illuminating for viewers unfamiliar with the diverse Black South African sociocultural experience, Savage Beauty is still very much an over-the-top drama, and features lots of far-fetched schemes and scenes. Still, it tells a good story and offers a well-paced guilty pleasure.
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.