The Innocents

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
The Innocents TV Poster Image
Teen love story with sci-fi twist has some edgy content.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Explores the many different ways love can be expressed between parents and children.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harry and June are portrayed as smart but naive teenagers, committed to their love for each other but not quite mature enough to truly understand its complexities.

Violence

A number of mildly bloody fistfights; June's shape-shifting experience is depicted as painful, frightening; a girl is electrocuted as part of scientific experiments; characters are held at gunpoint; a character is killed by a gunshot; a woman purposely burns her leg with a cigarette.

Sex

Teenage characters have sex under a sheet; no nudity is shown but it's clear what they're doing. A couple kiss passionately while shirtless; the girl is wearing a bra. Characters attend a kinky nightclub where people wear provocative outfits and people are seen kissing.

Language

"F--k," "hell," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teen characters do shots of alcohol and drink beer in clubs and pubs; characters sell and take ecstasy pills; a character snorts cocaine; a father puts sedatives in his children's food; characters smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Innocents is a dark, serious love story with science fiction elements. Mild scenes of teen sex are mixed with kinkier club scenes and a fair amount of drug use. But violence is probably the big concern here, with bloody fistfights, electrocution as part of scientific experiments, and death by gunshot. A key character's shape-shifting experience is also depicted as painful and scary. More similar in tone to The OA and The Returned than to Stranger Things, this well-acted drama is a great pick for older teens who don't need big thrills but enjoy a story that unravels at a deliberate pace. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byflixandchill September 20, 2018

Not great

While the idea of shape-shifting was intriguing, it wasn’t well executed. The teen main characters weren’t developed well enough to make them—even with shape-sh... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In THE INNOCENTS, teen June (Sorcha Groundsell) has an absent mother, an overprotective stepfather, an agoraphobic brother, and Harry (Percelle Ascott), a boy who loves her. On her 16th birthday, the same day her father plans to move the family from their small English town to an isolated Scottish island, June and Harry run away. Not on the road for more than a couple of hours, the newly freed couple stop to help a stranded motorist -- and then things start to get weird. A man claiming to know where June's mother is tries to force her into a van. Harry hits him with a tire iron and they move the unconscious body into the woods and take off.  When June revisits the body, she finds the man still alive; however, when she touches him, she begins to painfully shape-shift until she looks exactly like the man. In her new guise of a large bearded man in his 40s, June makes her way back to the motel. After a shocking reunion, she's able to convince Harry that it's her. Eventually June shifts back to herself. Now the two young lovers need to figure out not only how to survive on their own but how to control June's condition while eluding their mysterious pursuers.

Is it any good?

Well-acted, and with a layered plot and satisfying revelations, this series begins a bit shakily, and viewers can't be blamed for thinking this is going to be just another "teenager with special powers goes on the run" kind of show. The Innocents soon differentiates itself by not letting the story or the circumstances veer toward the fantastical. It treats the standard situation of teenagers running away realistically and the condition of shape-shifting seriously, and grounds the story with believable consequences. The focus here is more on character development and personal dynamics than on fast-paced action and sci-fi spectacle. Apart from its shape-shifting concept, this is primarily a love story that looks at not only the young love of June and Harry but also other complex variations of connection -- between husbands and wives, parents and children, and more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the often used storytelling device of running away from home. How does The Innocents depict it? Scary? Fun? Hard?

  • Many characters in the show have to cope with loss or abandonment. How does the loss that Harry experiences differ from June's or Runa's?  

TV details

For kids who love sci-fi

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