A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages are not frequent, but there are points being made here about class, wealth, and power, as well as about religion and authority, even if the messages play second fiddle to a horror storyline.
Positive Role Models
The cast is so large that it's hard to get to know characters well, but standouts include Ines, who seems to have some type of supernatural power and serenely stands up to bullying; Amaia, who acts out because she's angry; Elias, a monk who suffers pangs of conscience over the abuse students suffer; and Adele, who's bookish, responsible, and easily intimidated. Authority figures are in general not to be trusted, including teachers and parents. Teens are told "no one wants you" and that both society and their families have given up on them.
Violence & Scariness
Teens are abused by authority figures: a teacher shaves a girl's head when she's caught with a phone after lights-out, students are imprisoned in cells with no bathroom for an entire day and night. Expect lots of spooky imagery: swooping, pecking crows; a dark figure who appears and disappears; a big, scary school. Characters are frequently in danger, both of being harshly punished at school and from supernatural forces.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Students flirt, kiss, and say provocative things to each other (like when Manuel tells Amaia he's going to "f--k her" once they get away from the school). Expect crushes and romantic complications to play a part but to not overwhelm the plot's horror elements.
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Language includes "f--k," "motherf--ker," "son of a bitch," "s--t," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several characters smoke cigarettes prominently; one character steals prescription pills in order to subdue a barking dog.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Boarding School: Las Cumbres is a dark mystery series about a scary boarding school. The teachers are harsh and sometimes even abusive, and supernatural forces are an additional threat. The teens who attend the school are treated harshly: imprisoned alone in stone cells with no bathroom and no food for an entire day and night; a girl has her head shaved forcibly by a teacher; a teacher leers uncomfortably at teen students. Gothic imagery is frequent, including creepy animals and dark figures who appear and disappear. Students are almost always in danger of being punished by threatening teachers as well as menaced by unnatural forces. A teen and an adult character smoke prominently; a character steals prescription drugs from a family in order to subdue a barking dog. Students and teachers flirt with each other and we see kisses, but though a teen boy tells a teen girl he wants to "f--k her," no sex is seen on-screen. Language includes "f--k," "son of a bitch," "s--t," "ass."
Is It Any Good?
Spooky and unsettling, this cool series leans heavily on menace and gothic trappings but its strong ensemble cast and compelling writing sell the heavy bits. Viewers are clued in that the boarding school of the title is a Bad, Bad Place in the first few shots: a crow cocks his head and stares meaningfully at one of the main characters; the camera swoops up to show us the school is located on a rocky cliff, cut off from the rest of the world -- hey, what's more threatening than a place you can't leave? These first impressions prove prescient: In the first few days of school we witness, one young student, Paz (Paula del Río) has her head forcibly shaved, two students are imprisoned in stone cells the principal calls "the freezers," and some of the teachers seem to enjoy pushing their students around a little too much...and in very creepy ways.
But though the school itself is dire, there are hints that there's something dark and mysterious connected to the school, which has a sketchy history and possibly even a living malevolent presence. The woods surrounding the school are rumored to be cursed, or haunted, or both. Against this background, a large and interestingly sketched cast fights for survival: Inés (Claudia Riera), who sees ghostlike dark figures; reckless Amaia, who rebels against her family and her teachers every way she can; monk Elias (Alberto Amarilla) who wants to flee from the deadly atmosphere of the school but has a secret reason for being there. It's an overstuffed narrative but a grabby one; pack your school trunks for this series and prepare to stay a while.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.