A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series explores contemporary underground American subcultures -- including illegal ones -- and attempts to objectively reveal some of the trends and activities they're known for.
Positive Role Models
Ling attempts to be objective but does hide her concerns about potentially dangerous behaviors such as drug use and abuse. Scientific and medical experts, law enforcement, and members of various subcultures weigh in on the various issues discussed.
Violence & Scariness
Police raids and other violent moments, as well as video footage of people having seizures and violent delusions, are shown.
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Words such as "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Chevy trucks, iPhones, and some logos are occasionally visible in the background but aren't prominently featured. Internet sites used for underground or illegal activities, such as Silk Road, are shown and discussed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Episodes sometimes focus on drugs: designer drugs (including synthetic marijuana), bath salts, and LSD. Experimentation with a variety of drugs and alcohol also is discussed; people are shown using drugs in a variety of ways, and the tone is fairly objective and doesn't always point out repercussions of illegal or dangerous behavior.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Society X with Lisa Ling explores underground fads and activities that are considered inappropriate or illegal in mainstream popular culture. It contains some strong images of people buying, using, and getting sick as a result of using drugs and other substances. Police raids and arrests are shown. There's some bleeped language and references to websites featuring illegal trade and activities. It's informative, but, thanks to it mature themes, it's best left for adults and older teens.
Is It Any Good?
From looking at college drug use to understanding the global proliferation of synthetic or designer drugs, Society X with Laura Ling offers a look into social trends that some argue fall outside of conventional and socially accepted popular culture. It also reveals how these fads are moving beyond the underground and affecting mainstream society. The price some people pay for participating in these activities, such as getting sick or arrested, also are highlighted.
There's an attempt to be objective, but the dangers associated with some of the activities discussed here are clearly underscored thanks to some of the dramatic (and carefully selected) footage edited into the show. Meanwhile, each episode is too short to go into any real details about why these subcultures do what they do. But it will certainly open people's eyes about unique or disturbing fads that people of all ages get caught up in and what they might experience as a result.
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.