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 Swamp Thing is a DC comics-based series that blends elements of horror, sci-fi, and suspense. There's a lot of gory, gloopy violence: dead bodies splitting open to reveal guts and vines moving inside; a man's head is impaled with a fishing spear. Someone is shot; a character's boat is blown up with explosives. The titular character (who is technically one of the "good guys" despite his frightening, moss-covered appearance) can do things like rip people apart with his bare hands. Obscenities include a few "f-bombs" thrown in here and there.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SWAMP THING takes its inspiration from the popular comic book series that first kicked off in the 1970s, and the character has appeared in a variety of TV shows and films (perhaps most memorably, in the 1982 Wes Craven film by the same name). This version of the story stars Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf) as whip-smart CDC doctor Abby Arcane, who has been called back to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana to help investigate and stop the spread of a perplexing new swamp-borne virus affecting its residents. Offbeat biologist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) has been researching some bizarre developments among plantlife in the local waterways, and soon joins Abby in her quest to find what's making everyone ill, despite being recently fired his wealthy benefactor Avery Sutherland (Will Patton). When their probing starts to get dangerously close to the truth, Holland goes missing, his laboratory wiped of all evidence; and an imposing, bear-like mossy figure emerges from the swamp seeking justice -- much to Abby's confused horror.
Is it any good?
Combine a solid cast with a classic "misunderstood monster" storyline, add in a great blend of practical and CGI effects, and you've got a show that proves you can do true horror on a TV budget. Swamp Thing is smart to keep its titular hero from being too overexposed early in the series, which amps up the curiosity factor and makes the creature that much more impressive when you finally see him in all his glory, dripping mud and kicking the butts of evil-doers in a confused and tormented rage. There may be too many slimy tentacles and dismemberments here for kids, but viewers with a stomach for "body horror" who love a good Southern Gothic suspense tale will find much to enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reboots. This version of Swamp Thing updates a character and story that's been around since the 1970s, which had previously been made into an animated kid's series as well as two campy 1980s horror films. What are some other examples of movie or TV remakes that put a new spin on the source material? Does this happen often?
The creature in Swamp Thing can definitely be scary and imposing, but he can also be seen as a tragic figure. Why do you think there's an appeal for stories where characters turn into supernatural beings? Can you think of any other examples of this phenomenon?
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