Parents' Guide to

The Son

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Quality drama about oil-industry family kind of a snooze.

TV AMC Drama 2017
The Son Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 13+
age 18+

Okay TV show

This show appears to be loosely based upon the TV show "Dallas." It has many of the same themes. And I know it's TV, fiction, but one show didn't make sense. The indian tribe has a white woman slave who killed an indian trying to abuse her. And if she was caught, she would have been killed. BUT THEY WERE ALONE, SO WHY DIDN'T SHE JUST RIDE AWAY TO SAFETY AND FREEDOM?

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (8):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Historical conflicts are typically a juicy setting for dramas and this one boasts talented and appealing actors, but unfortunately it's a bit of a high-quality snooze. The problem is mainly the show's leisurely pace -- though the drama hints that the McCulloughs are oil-barons-to-be, the timeline skips back and forth between Eli as a young boy living in semi-slavery with the Comanche, and Eli as a cattle rancher and patriarch. To what end, exactly? It seems that the drama is hinting at parallels between the grown-up Eli who's increasingly worried about local Mexicans intruding on his ranch, and the Comache's attempted extermination of settlers on their land, which resulted in Eli's capture and imprisonment, but it takes an awfully long time to point that out, and meanwhile things stagnate.

There are an awful lot of shots of characters talking in hushed tones in darkened rooms, men squinting into the middle distance with firearms in holsters, horses, cows, fields of corn. It just doesn't add up to a crackling plot, or a grabby one. It's beautifully shot, well-acted, and based on solid source material -- the 2013 book of the same name was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. But The Son just isn't the kind of TV that makes viewers long to know what comes next. Pity.

TV Details

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.

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.

See how we rate