Stalker

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Stalker TV Poster Image
Artfully done police procedural is horror-movie scary.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series focuses on crime and shows criminal acts in detail, painting a grim and frightening picture of the world. Female characters in particular are shot from the POV of a potential stalker, which positions women as perpetual victims.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters fight on the side of law and order; that message is somewhat subverted by showing very graphic crimes in detail, thus appealing to those who enjoy watching mayhem and violence. The LAPD unit at the center of the action boasts racial and ethnic diversity. 

Violence

Extremely violent for network television. Victims are killed in horrible, extended, graphic ways, such as being splashed with gasoline by a masked stranger, who then douses a car with gasoline and blows it up. Rape or the threat of rape is a recurring theme.

Sex

There are references to sex and "hookups," as well as sex tapes and other potentially risky sex acts. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drugs and alcohol may be mentioned in the context of criminal investigations. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stalker is at heart an artfully done police procedural. However, it's not for young or sensitive viewers due to its graphic violence and scary material. It features particularly personal crimes, with a lot of dread beforehand. Victims, who are generally young and female, are often filmed from the point of view of a stalker, which may frighten viewers and bring on fears of being watched or stalked themselves. In addition, Stalker depicts deaths in very graphic detail, and there are jump scares and horror movie-style music, settings, and pacing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykathybaker12 February 19, 2015

Scary excellence

I know what other parents are thinking: how does a show with a graphic explosion earn TV-14? I was thinking the same thing. However, I sat in with my daughter t... Continue reading
Adult Written bykellenr February 18, 2015

Great tv show is ok for kids

know your kid! This show isnt violent but it is scary. My 10 yr old loves this show but its too scary for 7 yr and under. Also great acting, well done CBS!
Teen, 13 years old Written bybands4life October 4, 2014

My Review on "Stalker"!

This review is kinda misleading. Its not even violent. It does have jump scares, a car explosion, a man trying to kill victims by pouring gasoline on them and s... Continue reading

What's the story?

If you're a STALKER in the city of Los Angeles, the Threat Assessment Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department is coming after you. Department head Lieutenant Beth Davis (Maggie Q) takes her job extremely seriously; there's a dark reason why. Meanwhile, volatile and talented new detective Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) is good at his job, seemingly able to divine the motives and methods of stalkers with almost extrasensory perception ... almost as if he were a stalker himself. When these two pair up, they're an incredible team. But with unseen forces working beneath the surface of the cases they crack each week, David and Larsen are destined to collide. What will happen next is anybody's guess. 

Is it any good?

Another case-of-the-week show! What does this make, several dozen? Do network executives have no imagination at all? That said, this is pretty snazzy stuff. The camera work and music are beautiful, and McDermott and Q have chemistry and charisma to spare. Also, the show's pretty terrifying and disturbing: A few minutes into the pilot, a screaming co-ed is being splashed with gasoline, locked into her car, set on fire, and rolled backward into a pole. Whoa! Later on, one dead-eyed young man tells another that if he'd really wanted to scare him, he'd have poisoned his food instead of just waited in his dorm room in the dark. 

Scary. Adults for whom crime-and-punishment serials are a guilty pleasure may find this lots of fun. The writing is quite good, and the cases taken on each week are different enough to be compelling. There are moments of genuine dread and horror, not to mention surprise, plus plenty of possibilities for ongoing sucks-you-in drama. However, it's graphic, creepy, and frightening -- think twice before you let tweens or even teens watch. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why the police procedural is such an enduring staple of network TV. What types of situations or drama does the show's setting enable? Name some other police procedurals. How is Stalker alike or different from these shows? 

  • Characters who have some type of dark secret in their pasts are common on television. Why do you suppose this is so? 

  • What types of victims are usually featured on Stalker? Male or female, young or old, attractive or plain? Why do you suppose the show chooses to feature this type of victim? 

TV details

For kids who love thrills

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