The Romanoffs

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
The Romanoffs TV Poster Image
Language, dark themes pervade well-acted anthology series.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

A theme of connection between humans runs through the series. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hajar is a smart, compassionate young Muslim woman who exhibits great strength in the face of harsh racist comments from her employer.

 

Violence

Opening credits depict the murder of the Romanoff family; a vicious murder is described during a court case; a man slaps a woman before they have sex; a couple discusses how to kill someone.

Sex

A couple has sex and talk graphically to each other; a man and woman kiss and embrace; infidelity is a running theme.

 

Language

"F--k," s--t," c--k," "c--t," "bitch." 

 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are shown smoking cigarettes and marijuana; people drink wine, champagne and hard alcohol on a cruise.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Romanoffs is an anthology series on Amazon Prime Video with each episode following a different distant relative of the Romanoffs, the famously slain Russian royal family. Created and directed by Mad Men's Matthew Weiner, the series is well done but very mature in its content, language, and focus. Profanity includes "f--k," s--t," c--k," "c--t," and "bitch." Characters have sex on screen and the series has running themes of infidelity. Most teens may not have a lot to keep them engaged here beyond some really good acting and compelling storytelling.

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What's the story?

THE ROMANOFFS is an anthology series where each episode tells an stand-alone fictional story about a character who claims to be an descendant of the famously slain Russian royal family. The relationship characters have with that heritage varies -- to some it’s incredibly important and defining, to others it’s just a punchline. Each episode's actors vary but include Aaron Eckhart, Corey Stoll, Noah Wylie, and Mad Men's John Slattery and Christina Hendricks. Episodes also cover varied themes, but universal issues of infidelity, mortality, and procreation appear to be a running thread. Some characters reappear in later episodes, meaning that an overarching connection may reveal itself as the show progresses.

Is it any good?

Written and directed by the confident hand of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, this series comes out of the gate with some strong (and long!) episodes. Like entries in a collection of loosely connected short stories, The Romanoffs is superbly acted by a solid lineup of talent. Narratively, these episodes tell small scale stories, with realistic stakes, that then speak to bigger more universal concerns and desires -- marriage, children, aging, personal fulfillment. And again, similar to the best short fiction these episodes skillfully tell a satisfying story in a lean, brisk fashion. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about infidelity. How is it depicted in The Romanoffs? How does the show address the consequences of infidelity?

  • Families can talk about unsympathetic characters. Does a lead character always have to be likable? How does it change the way you connect with a story if the main character is hard to like or relate to?

TV details

For kids who love drama

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