A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
An unrepentant murderess is the center of the action.
Positive Role Models
All characters are complicated and some are downright evil; Lizzie has no remorse and seems to relish her outcast status.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme violence: dripping blood and gore; dead bodies with gory wounds and a smiling murderer crouched over them; an axe shown repeatedly battering a man in the face with pulpy impact sounds; many shots of Lizzie in lingerie wielding a bloody axe. A law enforcement officer shoots another in the stomach, then shoots him point-blank. Viewers see the skeleton of a baby. A woman stabs a man in the neck with a hat pin, then strikes him furiously with an ax.
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Victorian language was largely upright, but here there's violent language with cursing ("I'm going to pull your spine out your ass") as well as the occasional "damn" and "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes take place in a bar with patrons drinking liquor.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is a drama that fictionalizes the real life of suspected 19th-century murderess Lizzie Borden. Frequent blood and gore: A woman in white lingerie drives an ax into her dad's face as pulpy sounds reverberate on the soundtrack, a man is shot point-blank in the stomach and head, the skeleton of a dead baby is found in a trunk. Young viewers might find the violence particularly terrifying because it often occurs in the home, between family members. Viewers also may be confused by the liberties taken with the life of a real historical figure; this fictional Lizzie is an unrepentant murderess who relishes violence and her outcast social status. Cursing, including violent cursing: "ass," "hell," "damn." Characters drink liquor and beer on-screen.
Is It Any Good?
No, Lizzie Borden didn't spend the latter part of her life bumping off her father's creditors, random family members, and anyone else who dared to cross her. But if you're the sort of viewer who cares less about historical faithfulness and more about a campy drama featuring Borden in tight gowns and blood-red lipstick doing terrible things to people who stand in her way, you'll be in ecstasy over Lizzie. With plot lines running from grave robbing to poisoning to skeletons of secret children moldering away in a basement, Lizzie Borden is pretty much off the rails in terms of content, which is fun for a very particular type of viewer (if inappropriate for kids).
When a crowd of kids follows her, chanting the old "forty whacks" nursery rhyme, she pulls a (conveniently located) ax from a store display and whirls on them. One little girl stands stock still: "I'm not afraid of you," she whimpers. "Then you haven't been paying attention!" Ricci grinds out, deadpan. The show also depicts Borden's real-life friendship with a Victorian actress, which people whispered wasn't exactly platonic. In Lizzie, not only is the relationship physical but her new friend ushers Lizzie into an underground carnival of vintage debauchery: ladies in top hats, dapper men sipping absinthe, a bearded man in an elaborate gown. It's not history, but it's great fun.
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.