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 The Bridge centers on a series of grizzly killings that are dark and occasionally shocking, which nets some disturbing visuals and blood. Both violence against women and the illegal drug trade are important to the plot, and there's simulated sex with bare buttocks visible (but no other sensitive parts). You'll hear unbleeped swearing, too (mostly "s--t"), and see characters drinking and using drugs. The main character also has Asperger syndrome, a disorder that affects her life and work in a variety of ways.
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What's the story?
When a disturbed serial killer places the lifeless body of a Texas judge dead center on THE BRIDGE that connects the cities of El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico -- formally known as the Bridge of the Americas -- a pair of detectives with vastly different styles must work together to solve the crime. But American Det. Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger), a rigid rule-follower with Asperger syndrome, has trouble meshing with Mexican Det. Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir), whose comparatively fluid approach puts her out of her comfort zone.
Is it any good?
Americans love a good crime drama, and The Bridge -- adapted from a Danish/Swedish series of the same name -- is definitely good enough to hook them. (In fact, the first big plot twist is so unbelievably twisted that we can't give it away here in good conscience, except to say that it takes the concept of 50-50 to a whole new level.) That said, Diane Kruger's Sonya Cross could be a tougher sell, not just because of her autistic quirks but also because her inconsistent accent takes away from her character's credibility.
The show’s slow-moving story could be a turnoff for some viewers who prefer faster pacing, and The Bridge probably won't attract too many teens. But thanks to deft work from Homeland writer Meredith Stiehm, there’s plenty of payoff if you stick with it to see how the seemingly unconnected story lines shake out in the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about autism spectrum disorders like Asperger syndrome and how they're portrayed in the media. How does Sonya compare to other autistic characters you've seen in movies, television, books, etc.? Do you know anyone with autism? How accurately does The Bridge reflect the realities of living with the condition?
In terms of violent content, how do the visuals here compare to other crimes shows you've seen? How realistic is it to think that crimes like those seen on The Bridge could occur in real life? What's the show's overall take on crime and the effectiveness of law enforcement?
The Bridge was inspired by the Danish/Swedish television series Bron. Using the internet to learn more about the original series, compare it to the U.S. version to see which details were changed to suit American audiences and which details stayed the same. Why might the producers of the American series have decided to make the changes they did? How do those changes affect the final product?