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 Stranger is a mystery drama that involves some violence, profanity, and drug use. Teens are depicted drinking and using drugs at an secret party, though the downside of drug use is also shown. Though violent incidents occur in each episode, the show makes an effort to use it sparingly. Many of the crimes involved in the plot of the show have a certain amount of complexity -- blackmail, for example -- which could be lost on younger viewers.
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What's the story?
When a mysterious woman calling herself "THE STRANGER" approaches Adam Price (Richard Armitage) with secret information about his wife, she sets off a chain of events that involves an intricate web of people throughout the town. As Price attempts to cope with the unsettling news about his relationship, his wife disappears and he finds himself embroiled in a series of mysteries that may or may not be related to her disappearance.
Is it any good?
In lieu of a single, compelling premise, this series' mystery is a web of disparate threads, which not only makes it plot-heavy but prevents any real character development. Netflix's previous adaptation of a Harlan Coben novel, 2018's Safe, starring Michael C. Hall, was largely successful on the strength of the story's urgency: Hall's character charges around a small town to find his kidnapped daughter. It's fun to think of The Stranger as the second installment in a Netflix-Coben anthology, but this miniseries lacks many of the elements that made Safe so satisfying. Without someone truly interesting to root for, the burden is on the eventual plot payoff -- one that never really comes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the central mystery in The Stranger. Why are mysteries fun to watch? Do you usually guess the resolution or do you like to remain in the dark?
How might The Stranger differ from other mysteries you've seen? Who are viewers meant to be rooting for? Who are the suspects? Who are the detectives? How do these roles change as the show progresses?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love drama
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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