A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Government agencies have less-than-positive agendas and no one can be trusted in this twisty drama.
Positive Role Models
A diverse cast includes women and people of color in main roles, and a side character who is portrayed as efficient and personable and happens to use a wheelchair. Characters are duplicitous and often have hidden agendas.
Violence & Scariness
Expect sudden deaths, often by supernatural means, like when a woman can kill others seemingly by some type of electric shock. Dead bodies are shown, including a scene in a morgue where we see a body with head injuries, bloody organs in bowls, and discolored decayed-looking feet. A character self-harms; we see scars on her thigh and see a secret kit she keeps with bandages and razor blades.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mature sexual content includes a scene in which two characters have sex on a couch as one's spouse is unconscious in the next room. We see the man nude from the side (his butt is visible from the side), and see rhythmic movement; they also talk about how many times she's "come" or "finished." A character changes clothes and is seen in her underwear and bra, which is translucent and reveals her nipples.
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Cursing and language includes "f--king," "bulls--t," "s--t," "hell." Language often has an English flavor: "bollocks," "sod it."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking forms a part of plot elements: a character says that he and another character had sex while they were "drunk."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Rook centers around a secret British intelligence agency that deals with people with supernatural powers and an agent who finds herself a target because of her own special abilities. The cast of this drama is fairly diverse, counting within it several powerful female characters, a man of color, and a woman who uses a wheelchair (but the way she gets around isn't particularly highlighted). Expect mature content: violence includes deaths with paranormal elements (like a character who seemingly kills by electric shock) and some onscreen gore, like a scene that shows dead bodies in a morgue. A main character self-harms and we see scars on her leg. Characters have extramarital sex with rhythmic movement, a brief flash of from-the-side male nudity, and discussion of how many times the female participant had an orgasm. A woman's nipples are visible through a filmy bra as she changes clothes. Cursing includes "f--k," "s--t," and "hell," and sometimes English slang: "bollocks," "sod it."
Is It Any Good?
This spy show has a cool, meaty premise and is adapted from a fairly bonkers genre novel, so why is it so juiceless and staid? The Rook's first few moments promise a gripping thriller -- a nightmarish situation: abandoned, alone, memoryless, and clearly in some mortal danger. From there, The Rook starts piling on the good-on-paper complications: mysterious super powers, a human trafficking conspiracy, shifty coworkers who can't be trusted, including a bleached-blond foursome of sibs who share consciousness. With so many interesting things to focus on, why does Rook spin its wheels by forcing us to watch Myfanwy (rhymes with "Tiffany," the series helpfully informs us) wandering around her apartment or having conversations in gray-tinged offices?
It's a pity, because the series is so good at times. In the show's first episode, when Olivia Munn shows up as a headstrong American agent poking into the Millennium Bridge deaths, smooth Checquy agent Conrad (Adrian Lester) tries to ferret out her interest in one particular death. "Is it a tracker?" he asks. "A tattoo? A chip? I do hope you won't try to cut off a finger." We have no idea what he's talking about, but we don't have to -- we understand what Conrad is getting at, and it's genuinely thrilling not to have a plot point explained to death. If only the rest of The Rook were as thrilling.
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.