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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Suburra is an exceedingly graphic Italian criminal thriller series that's not appropriate for teens. There's a lot of street violence like fistfights and beatings, including some that result in murder. Sexual intercourse is shown in its full form, both among couples and in group settings that include bisexuality and homosexuality. Drugs are prevalent and central to the seizure and maintenance of power, there's excessive drinking, and strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," etc.) is unedited. On the upside, though, the characters are a fascinating bunch of flawed and unsavory folks whose real dealings belie their public personas, and their intricate connections to each other unfold a little at a time to pique viewers' interest.
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What's the story?
SUBURRA is a drama thriller chronicling the high-stakes battle for control of a valuable piece of real estate on the coast near Rome. In a place where money, drugs, and influence wield far more power than the rule of law, it's alliances among politicians, the mafia, and even the Vatican that run the show behind the scenes. But hedging your bets with the likes of these means you're always looking over your shoulder and contemplating your next move in this complex chess match for wealth, power, and survival.
Is it any good?
This Italian series is gripping, intricate, and affecting, and altogether not appropriate for any but adult viewers. There's copious strong language (everything goes) and much graphic violence, plus multiple sex scenes that border on pornography in their lack of a filter. It's also a fair bit disheartening to consider the scope of corruption that the story -- albeit fiction -- posits and impossible to not imagine comparisons between Suburra and various levels of government and power in the real world.
For sheer entertainment value, however, Suburra is a masterful work of criminal thrills. The show is stocked almost entirely with a cast of mobsters, crooked politicians, and degenerate clergymen, but the characters' lives are infinitely intriguing. The more you get to know them, the more you want to know about them, whether it's because you gain respect for them or because you're ready to despise them further. Either way, Suburra is the kind of show that grabs your attention and doesn't let go.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what, if anything, Suburra's ribald content adds to the plot. Do the violence, language, and sexuality lend a certain reality to the lifestyles the story presents? Would their absence instead be a noticeable omission?
Is anyone in this story an admirable character? What do you think is the purpose of this story? Even though it's fiction, does it suggest that similar arrangements in politics and power exist in the real world?
Do you find yourself influenced by other people around you in either positive or negative ways? Are we always products of where we come from, or is it possible to chart our own course for the future?