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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scorpion is a good option for teens, particularly those with tech-savvy tastes. Aside from some gateway terms ("hell," "damn"), intense action sequences, and light sexual tension, there's surprisingly little to look out for, and the overall message is roundly positive.
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What's the story?
Errant computer genius Walter O'Brien (Elyes Gabel) and his friends get a renewed sense of purpose -- and, at last, a steady paycheck -- when a Homeland Security agent (Robert Patrick) recruits them to help the government counter high-tech threats. The SCORPION team starts with behavioral expert Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas), mechanical mastermind Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong), and statistics whiz Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham) but soon adds single mom Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee), a former waitress struggling to connect with her gifted young son, to the payroll.
Is it any good?
We hate spoilers as much as the next viewer, so we won't spill any plots, but suffice it to say that most of them are incredibly hard to swallow, bordering on flat-out ridiculous. Even if your high-tech knowledge amounts to zilch, suspension of disbelief is essential here -- and so is a generous sense of humor.
More noteworthy for parents, perhaps, are Scorpion's generally positive messages about embracing your quirks, working together, and high-tech problem solving, providing some strong (if not slightly flawed) role models for teens who might be struggling within the confines of standard molds. Scorpion shows that it's OK -- even cool -- to be an oddball, and that's a powerful lesson worth learning.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Scorpion's premise and the show's take on technology. Is it something to be feared or embraced? In terms of tone, how does Scorpion compare to other series with tech themes?
Do Scorpion's main characters challenge existing "geek" stereotypes or reinforce them? How do Walter and his friends measure up as role models?
How believable are Scorpion's plots and characters -- and does it matter? Where's the line between entertaining and ridiculous?
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