The 100

 
(i)

 

Violent dystopian drama with strong female role model.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series raises many weighty issues such as the delicate balance between individual freedom and community well-being, the authority of government, and postapocalyptic life. Theirs is a reality in which they sacrifice their kids to test theories and kill for the slightest wrongdoing, but they have valid reasons for doing so. As such, it's not always easy to distinguish right from wrong in their actions or in the characters themselves. 

Positive role models

A mixed bag. Some characters are selfish, arrogant, and resistant to authority, even when conforming is in the best interests of everyone involved. Others, such as Clark, are willing to risk everything to save the group for the sake of the human race as a whole. Those in power are similarly divided, and one character in particular acts on self-preserving instincts, even when it means killing others. 

Violence

Realistic violence, often with weapons such as guns or knives. In one scene, a teen is impaled on a spear and dies slowly. Teens threaten each other with weapons and engage in fistfights to settle differences. Peril exists at every turn, and enemies are often unseen. Mutated animals can be gruesome to look at, and some attack the teens. Capital punishment is the norm on the spacecraft, but the manner in which it's done isn't gory. 

Sex

Teens flirt with each other and hint at sexuality, but little beyond kissing is shown. Occasionally they do undress to their underwear for various reasons such as swimming. 

Language

"Damn," "hell," "screw him," "sucks," and the like are frequent fliers. 

Consumerism

The show is based on a book of the same name and features popular musical selections in its soundtrack. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The 100 has a lot of graphic violence and death, often at the hands of a group of teens who hash out power through beatings, torture, and weapon use. Graphic images of characters impaled by spears, strung up in trees, and subjected to other abuse are common, as is the threat of capital punishment and selective murder by a powerful governing body. In other words, this drama -- based on a dystopian novel of the same name -- is heavy-handed and not for the faint of heart. That said, the violence isn't mindless, either, and is necessary to illustrate the show's messages about personal freedom and community rights, as well as the appropriate role of government influence in this particular society. Expect some strong language ("hell," "damn," and the like) and hints at romance, plus some partial nudity (a teen strips to her bra and panties to swim, for instance) in this thriller. 

What's the story?

Ninety-seven years after a nuclear apocalypse wiped out life on Earth, leaving only the 400 people aboard a scattering of space stations alive, humans are returning to the planet for the first time. The emissaries are 100 juvenile prisoners who have spent their whole lives aboard the Ark, a colossal spacecraft formed by joining the 12 international space stations, which has served as the home for three generations of survivors and their offspring. Not yet 18 and thus not subject to the Ark's stringent capital-punishment law, the 100 juvies are sent to Earth as test subjects to gauge the safety of its elements for the entire population's eventual return. But once there, chaos ensues as various factions vie for dominance and many cut off communication with the Ark entirely. Standing strong is Clark Griffin (Eliza Taylor), a natural leader determined to survive and to reunite with her mom once the planet is deemed safe. But with time running out for the residents of the dying Ark and dangers lurking around every corner on Earth, is survival possible for any of them?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Based on a book of the same name, THE 100 is a tantalizing dystopian drama laced with suspense, teen romance, and plenty of bad guys you'll love to hate. Equally visible are some quality role models, particularly pragmatic Clark, whose only offense is spreading the truth about the Ark's dwindling supplies; and her fearless mom, Abby (Paige Turco), who sticks to her own ethical code in spite of outside pressure.

This action-packed show is heated and violent, yes, but it's not without good reason, given the urgency of the story line. Unquestioned capital punishment and the totalitarian power of the Ark's governing body would hardly be viable plot points for viewers if the story didn't present them in the right context of an oppressive, Draconian society. But even with such justification, the violence is very graphic and often erupts between teens, so take care in sussing out your teen's readiness for this weighty story and its messages. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about government's role in people's lives. How are the challenges of keeping order different in this society from what it is in ours? Are the government's rules appropriate for keeping people safe? In general, are ours? 

  • The teens on Earth face the possibility of life without rules. What rules do your teens take issue with? From your perspective, what purpose do the rules serve in keeping them safe? 

  • Is some violent content better than other kinds in entertainment? Does it ever serve a valuable purpose? If so, what? In what other forms of media do you often witness violence?

This review of The 100 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.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bykeep1212 May 5, 2014
 

its awesome

good show very gory and lots of murder but very interesting and fast paced
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bylucamations April 28, 2014
 

Cool but very violent

it's a cool show, but it's surprisingly violent. the episode "earth kills" is EXTREMELY scary. alot of episodes have scary looking creatures and injured humans who look very scary. the violence is bloody and gory. also, teens are ALWAYS making out on every episode.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byJenniferhughes1208 December 18, 2014
 

Great show, but..

This show is AMAZING. it is very exciting and brings new things to the table. There is a fair amount of gore. In one scene a boy is impaled, not much blood is shown. The next a girl is impalec and blood pours from her mouth, which is very common in this show. Throats get slit now and again, which doesn't bother me very much, but may bother others. I found quite disturbing was when s boy was imapled through the head. There is a lot of surgery with knives going into the body and more. Season 2 was just brilliant. A wrist got slit with graphic detail. People get shot often. In one scene some people take s girl, restrain her and put a knife into her hip, showing this very clearly. They also drill into her back, but the scene is over quickly ending in her face shown scresming with pain. There is more violence. Sex isn't s big issue, just kissing and bare backs now and again. There are many great role models, determined to nice people. No drinking, just moonshine,

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