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Parents' Guide to

The Republic of Sarah

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Drinking, family drama in mild small-town series.

TV CW Drama 2021
The Republic of Sarah Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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It's built on a cool premise and puts extra effort into world-building, but even though we're located in an interesting time and place, this drama feels a bit colorless. The cinematography looks like there's a gray filter over all the visuals, and the story has that feeling too. Stella Baker is game and clever as the rabble-rousing Sarah and it's easy to relate to her dilemma (smalltown savior vs. polluting faceless corporation? No contest!), but many of the other characters come off as by-the-numbers, created for story fodder and little else. As Sarah's estranged brother Danny, Luke Mitchell has a sneer that papers over a past full of dark "secrets" (which definitely aren't secret); Sarah's best friend (and Danny's estranged fiancé) Corinne (Hope Lauren) still unrealistically holds a torch for her ex after seven long years; Sarah has a best friend, Grover (Ian Duff), who's an obvious love interest.

Oh, and there are also sincere teens, law enforcement officers with hidden goals, Sarah's formerly abusive and currently alcoholic dramatic-complication-causing mother. It's a big cast, and their characters are sketched quickly in favor of servicing The Republic of Sarah's high-concept setup. Perhaps that's why this show comes off as formulaic instead of innovative, general rather than specifically located in a real place with real people. In a time when many Americans wish to be somewhere else, a separatist fantasy could be a rich source of irony and humor. Instead, it's just kinda mild, which is exactly the reaction it's likely to get from most viewers.

TV Details

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