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 Mist (based on the novella by Stephen King) is a violent sci-fi series where a small town gets scary when a supernatural mist shrouds the area. But even before "the mist" begins, local people assault and sometimes kill each other. Good decision making is in short supply among the show's characters, even the nobler among them lie to each other for selfish reasons. The threat presented by the mist itself is in another league: the series revels in depicting graphic and disfiguring violence. Adult horror fans and mature teens may get a kick out of the gore, but won't find much else to engage them.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The small town in THE MIST has plenty of nasty things hidden beneath its picturesque surface: Rape, extortion, and kidnapping, to name a few. The first of these touch a local family in a very personal way when their teen daughter falls victim to sexual assault. Reactions to this crime, including the local sheriff's, reveal dubious morals and values. Not long afterward, the town is engulfed by a supernatural and deadly mist. Cut off from the outside world, survivors take refuge from this mysteriously fatal fog. If the mist doesn't dissipate, will the trapped citizens be able to put aside their differences and find a way to survive? And just how will they battle a threat they can't see or understand?
Is it any good?
It's a shame the potential of King's classic story is squandered on an uninspired script and bland performances. The premise is solid; a deadly mist engulfs a town, trapping its characters together. There's a lot of entertainment fodder to be mined as alliances are formed and relationships tested, allowing the best and worst of humanity to take center stage.
However, this series barely allows us to get to know the people of the town before the mist starts ripping them apart in increasingly bloody and violent ways. As a result, the impact of these deaths is minimal. What little we do know of these characters rarely goes beyond stereotypes; coming across as plot devices more than multi-faceted human beings. Were the townsfolk more engaging and well drawn, the series might've been a solid entry in the pulp-horror genre. As it stands, it's tough to see that The Mist offers anything of substance to adult and teen viewers alike.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sexual assault among teenagers. How do the parents of The Mist fail to prepare their children for the realities of underage parties involving alcohol? What methods can teens employ to be aware of their surroundings and look out for each other?
Why do shows that depict graphic and supernatural violence appeal to audiences? Do shows that feature more real-world violence, such as that of war or organized crime, bear more or less responsibility to depict the impact it has on people?
- Premiere date: June 22, 2017
- Cast: Morgan Spector, Frances Conroy, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney, Danica Curcic, Okezie Morro, Luke Cosgrove, Darren Pettie, Russell Posner, Dan Butler, Isiah Whitlock, Jr.
- Network: Spike
- Genre: Science Fiction
- TV rating: TV-14
- Available on: Streaming
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
For kids who love sci-fi
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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