Star-Crossed

 
Decent teen drama explores issue of prejudice with care.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Even though the story focuses on the unlikely pairing of humans and aliens, its greater themes of prejudice and tolerance can be applied to more tangible racial and social relationships today. The characters' encounters explore different reactions to these issues, from violent protestation to peaceful assimilation, always with realistically mixed results. The show also compares how the generation gap affects people's feelings on the issue. Some confrontations get heated, and humans call Atrians "Tatties," which references the tattoos on their skin and is meant as a racial slur. 

Positive role models

A mixed bag. Some characters -- both Atrian and human -- are unyielding in their prejudice against the other side, and they take out their frustrations in destructive ways. Others, including Roman and Emery, try hard to bridge the gap between the two groups as they look for what makes them similar rather than different. Because their relationship is the heart of the story, the overriding message is one of tolerance rather than bigotry. 

Violence

Confrontations between humans and Atrians often turn violent, whether it's a fistfight between teens or more serious exchanges with guns among adult aliens and human law enforcement. Some victims are shown dying or dead and are usually bloody. 

Sex

Some kissing among teens and the occasional anatomical reference such as "penis."  

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Star-Crossed is a teen-geared story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of a tantalizing drama about aliens' rocky assimilation into a suburban community. It's easy to cheer the teens' noble determination to forge a relationship despite pressure to keep them apart, but the show also does a great job of exploring the issue of prejudice from numerous angles that prompt viewers to take a fresh look at race relations in society today. Some confrontations between the two sides turn violent, so expect to see fistfights and the use of guns, which result in fatalities on both sides of the divide. Teen romance yields longing glances and minimal physical contact such as handholding and brief kissing. Many humans call the aliens "Tatties," which is meant as a racial slur. 

What's the story?

Ten years ago, an alien aircraft crashed into a suburban town, sparking a violent battle between humans and the newcomers who were fleeing their dying planet of Atria and for refuge on Earth. In the midst of the conflict, a young Atrian boy fled the violence and briefly befriended a compassionate young human girl, who was devastated when police shot him as he tried to protect her. The government rounded up the surviving Atrians and quarantined them in a camp called the Sector, cutting them off from contact with humans. Now a decade later, seven Atrian teens are enrolled in a public high school to test the waters of assimilation, and their arrival sets off a new round of confrontations between the two sides. Meanwhile, now-grown Emery (Aimee Teegarden) is surprised to discover that one of the Atrians is Roman (Matt Lanter), who miraculously didn't die as she had assumed all those years ago. As their bond deepens, they feel pulled apart by the strain between their people that threatens to sever any progress toward understanding the two sides have made.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

STAR-CROSSED is a decent drama series whose solid message manages the near-impossible task of rivaling the story's forbidden romance arc for top billing. There's no way to avoid getting caught up in Emery and Roman's melodramatic tug-of-war between their feelings for each other and society's pressure to keep them apart, and it is fun to celebrate the small victories of true love along the way. But the show pays just as much attention to exploring the issues of prejudice and tolerance from multiple angles as it does to the lovey-dovey stuff.

What does this mean for your teens? Star-Crossed's content is fairly tame for this age group, save for the violent exchanges that erupt between the two groups of characters. But even that serves a purpose, illustrating how a confrontation can escalate when people take different stances on an issue. This show doesn't set out to be preachy or solve the matter itself, but it does encourage viewers to take a fresh look at the longstanding issue of prejudice, and it will prompt some worthwhile discussions with your teens about where society stands today. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the degree to which this story reflects true events in human history. Where do you see similarities between racial relations through the years and the points the show makes? How much progress have we made toward true tolerance? Do you think that's an attainable goal?

  • Does this series set out to influence viewers' feelings on the subject of prejudice? Why do you think the Atrian characters were cast to look more human than alien? How does that influence the show's message?

  • Teens: Why is the subject of forbidden love such a popular one in movies and series aimed at your age group? Is there something inherently romantic about caring for someone you're not supposed to love? What are some of your family's rules about relationships and dating? 

TV details

This review of Star-Crossed was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old August 7, 2014
age 13+
 

Star-Crossed

Parents need to know that Star-Crossed is a teen-geared story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of a tantalizing drama about aliens' rocky assimilation into a suburban community. It's easy to cheer the teens' noble determination to form a relationship despite pressure to keep them apart, but the show also does a great job on exploring the issue of prejudice from numerous angles to prompt viewers to take a fresh look at race relations in society today. Some confrontations between the two sides turn violent, so expect to see fistfights and the use of guns, which result in fatalities on both sides of the divide. Teen romance yields longing glances and minimal physical contact such as handholding and brief kissing. Many humans call the aliens ''Tatties'', which is meant a racial slur.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written bypiepie314 June 21, 2015
age 16+
 
The first few episodes are great. The show was really good. After about episode 5 there is a sex scene in every episode. There is also a lot more talk about it. Other than that the show is great.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Parent of a 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 17 year old Written byMom28monkeys June 19, 2015
age 15+
 

Great story, likable characters, but some drawbacks

I really enjoyed this show! In fact, it was so addictive that I binge-watched it on Netflix; it was hard to turn off. =) The premise of the show is fun and interesting, and the characters are likable. Unfortunately, the writing and plot development are weak in certain areas. If you enjoy losing yourself in a fantasy world, and are able to suspend disbelief easily, then you'll probably enjoy this show. My biggest issue with the show Star Crossed, is that the main characters (who are supposed to be about 16 years old) have passionate sex with whomever they feel attracted to - without commitment, protection, or consequences. They are also shown partying on a regular basis like 30 year olds, drinking frequently with no parents in sight. I am disappointed in Common Sense Media's review; it is very misleading when it says that the farthest the sex or romance goes is hand-holding and kissing. The reviewer must not have watched the entire series. For those who are interested, there is also a lesbian sub-plot that leads to two females kissing on two occasions.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass