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 Texas Rising is a docudrama that highlights the major events of the second half of the Texas Revolution. However, it's more entertaining than educational and contains lots of strong content, including continuous brutal, bloody violence, attempted rape, sexual content (including simulated sex acts), cursing ("bitch," "ass," "s--t," "f--k") and lots of drinking and smoking. Most of this is offered in a historical context, but it makes the series best-suited for older viewers.
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What's the story?
TEXAS RISING chronicles the second half of the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers. It's March 7, 1836, and General Antonio López de Santa Anna (Olivier Martinez) has successfully overtaken the Alamo as part of his brutal offensive designed to reclaim the Mexican province of Texas from rebellious Texians (U.S. settlers) and Tejanos (creoles) who want an independent Texian republic. General Sam Houston (Bill Paxton) must figure out how to lead his small, untrained volunteer group of men to push Santa Anna's troops out of the territory without the help of President Andrew Jackson (Kris Kristofferson), who is unwilling to intervene. Meanwhile, an independent and spirited band of men known as the Rangers (played by actors including Brendan Fraser, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Trevor Donovan, and Christopher McDonald) are called upon to support Houston’s efforts. Also helping their cause is former indentured servant Emily West (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), aka the "Yellow Rose of Texas," and Lorca (Ray Liotta), one of the few survivors of the Alamo. Throughout it all, settlers continue to enter the territory in hopes of finding a new life. It’s a brutal and lawless time but one that has a major impact on the formation of the Lone Star state.
Is it any good?
History buffs and classic Western fans will find it entertaining, but those unfamiliar with Mexican or Texan history may find this miniseries sometimes hard to follow. From the bloody Goliad campaign to the battle of San Jacinto, the series offers a dramatic retelling of the history of the Texas Revolution, while bringing to life some of the folklore and legends behind it. It also strings together narratives that highlight the varied experiences of territory residents during this time, including independent-minded Texians, Tejanos caught between two countries, dishonest land empresarios, Native American tribes trying to protect their lands, and slaves who tragically found themselves caught in the middle of it all. It also weaves in some comedic moments, in an attempt to create some relief from the ruthlessness shown here.
However, it also lacks clear explanations about what led to the revolution, such asthe breakdown of immigration agreements between the two countries and the Union's hopes for access to Pacific trade routes via the Gulf. But the overall series serves to memorialize the historic figures who -- and events that -- are credited with helping secure Texas’ independence from Mexico and its eventual entrance into the union as the country’s 28th state.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of Texas. What makes Texas history so different from that of many other states in the Union? Does this series offer an accurate portrayal of what transpired during this time?
What is a docudrama? Is it supposed to present facts? Or is it a fictional work based on actual events?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love American history
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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