A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Several characters -- both adults and children -- lie to cover the secrets they keep, and that causes some trouble with trust among family members and friends. Harper’s and Griffin’s courage in pursuing answers is admirable, but they wrestle with the implications of what doing so might mean for the people they care about. Ultimately the pursuit for the truth requires sacrifices.
Positive Role Models
Griffin’s mother demonstrates impressive loyalty to her husband in her willingness to make the best of an unexpected situation. Griffin and Harper defy their parents for what they believe to be a greater good, and for their own sense of curiosity. Long-grudges and hurt feelings affect relationships in the present but also yield opportunities for forgiveness where it’s embraced.
Violence & Scariness
The story centers on the disappearance of a tween girl, which is an upsetting circumstance to consider and becomes more so as her character is introduced and explored. Some scenes advance the tension by hinting at her being in peril, but nothing is shown in detail. Other scenes suggest that her spirit causes unusual things to happen (lights flicker, a light fixture falls from the ceiling, a door blows open, etc.).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Secrets of Sulphur Springs is a mystery/horror series about the disappearance of a young girl and her subsequent haunting of a hotel. Scares are mild, and supposed evidence of a haunting includes finicky electricity in a house, cold spots, doors opening and closing on their own, and objects falling without obvious cause. The young characters are visibly rattled by the experience. The fact that both adults and kids keep secrets is necessary to advance the plot but does leave them weighing the repercussions of doing so, which gives families an opening for talking about issues like honesty and forgiveness. This gripping series invites family viewing with content that scares just enough but not too much -- but, even so, parents should gauge its suitability for kids who are sensitive to spooky stuff.
Is It Any Good?
This family-friendly mystery series is expertly written to balance genuine scares with content that's both humorous and heartwarming. Griffin's friendship with Harper is instantly likable; her gregarious personality helps bring the new kid in town out of his shell and facilitates their discoveries, and he reins in her impulsiveness that could spell trouble as they traipse around the past looking for answers. As they make discoveries that affect their relationships with people in the present, the two wrestle with the moral implications of possibly changing the past (and thus the future) as well. But through it all -- and despite secrets kept by several characters -- Griffin's family is a model of loyalty to each other.
As for the scares one finds in Secrets of Sulphur Springs, they're there and they're real, but they don't push the envelope so much that kids shouldn't watch. The idea that Savannah's disappearance was so absolute that the trail is cold three decades later hints at even more complex secrets held by sympathetic characters, and as viewers get to know them, that concept could raise questions. Ultimately this is a real know-your-kid scenario. If the kinds of scares conceivable in the real world (a girl's disappearance, for instance) are worrisome to your kids, it's worth previewing the show before giving the all clear.
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