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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Netflix docuseries Sunderland ’Til I Die will appeal to football (soccer) fans, but contains lots of mature content. There’s lots of cursing, some drinking, and footage of fans hurling insults, and at times getting violent. Discussions of difficult economic issues, poverty, and other social problems are sometimes topics, too. Logos of sponsor brands like Dafabet and Adidas are prominently featured, and others like Range Rover are visible. The series promotes the Sunderland Football Club, but it also reveals the positive role the Club has had in a struggling community for many years.
What's the story?
SUNDERLAND ’TIL I DIE is a reality series that follows a struggling football (soccer) team in Northeast England. In 2017, the once outstanding Sunderland Football Club was removed from the English Premier League due to poor overall performance. Now forced to play the 2nd, or Championship, Division, they must prove that they can once play at premier level. Now new manager Simon Grayson, along with administrators like player liaison officer Leanne Bennett, and Chief Executive Martin Bain, must work hard to revitalize the team, motivate them to play at peak level, keep positive, and win matches to please their investors and fans. Their hope is that after the 10 month season is over, they will be one of the three clubs promoted to the top league.
Is it any good?
This encouraging documentary series follows the day-to-day efforts of a football team that has long been the pride and joy of a hardscrabble working class town that has been plagued with unemployment, poverty, and other hardships. Through footage of meetings, matches, and and interviews, it highlights how the demotion has impacted the overall club, and offers an overview of how they are trying to overcome it.
While the club and its members are a focal point, the Sunderland community plays a major part of this story world. It is through local (and candid) fans that viewers can begin to understand the long-standing passion the club continues to inspire, and how it has served as a positive beacon in their otherwise difficult lives until now. Ultimately, Sunderland ’Til I Die will be appealing to football fans, but the story it tells offers something to those who are not.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of European football outside of the United States. Why are people so passionate about it? Is this reaction similar to how people in the United States react to American football?
What does Sunderland ’Til I Die teach us about the role of sports clubs in our communities?
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