A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Gives a glimpse into what life is like in the slums of India.
The show is violent and doesn't have many redeeming messages, but Lin does often put the needs of others before his own.
Positive Role Models
This is a gritty show centering around organized crime, sex trafficking, and heroin.
The series is set in Bombay. The main character is White and the majority of the other characters are Indian.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of violence, including scenes of torture and of people being beaten or murdered by being shot, stabbed, set on fire, etc. Women are forced into the sex trade. There are also graphic scenes involving people being treated for medical emergencies in the slums.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sex worker and her two pimps are recurring characters in the show. There are also people whose storylines revolve around being involved in sex trafficking, with women being held and forced into prostitution against their will (though the sex isn't shown). There are also ongoing romantic subplots.
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Regular use of profanity including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters are of shown drinking and smoking marijuana or hash. The heroin trade plays a major part in the series and characters are shown buying and selling it, shooting up, becoming addicted, and trying to get clean.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shantaram is a series that revolves around the heroin trade and sex trafficking rings of 1980s Bombay (now Mumbai), India. Since the show deals with criminals and organized crime, there's a lot of violence, including scenes of torture and of people being beaten or murdered by being stabbed, set on fire, and so on. Women are forced into the sex trade. There are also graphic scenes involving people being treated for medical emergencies in the slums. Adult characters are shown drinking and smoking marijuana or hash as well as shooting up heroin, becoming addicted, and trying to get clean. Finally, there's regular use of profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," etc.
Is It Any Good?
By opening with an exhilarating prison break, this series sets viewers up with expectations of action and suspense that it just can't seem to deliver on in subsequent episodes. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, Shantaram has everything needed for a hit at first glance -- gorgeous imagery set in an exotic locale, a charismatic sidekick (played by Shubham Saraf), a budding romance, political intrigue, and plenty of shirtless shots of Charlie Hunnam. Sadly, though, the show's writers couldn't find a way to successfully trim down the nearly 1,000-page book into a captivating tale. Instead we get the central character, Lin, talking ad nauseam about redemption and freedom, but continually getting in his own way. Again and again he makes a bad choice, gets himself tangled up in something illegal, is surprised when people get hurt, and ends up putting himself in harm's way to try to make it right. It's a tiring cycle that relies on a troubling White savior complex. Ultimately, nothing here is fresh enough here to keep audiences interested for long.
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.