The Tomorrow People

Common Sense Media says

Violent sci-fi series raises discussion points for teens.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series touches on issues of self-identity as they're seen through Stephen's struggles to balance his human side with his highly evolved one. It's difficult for him to fit in completely with one group or the other, since each side asks him to deny his other half, which leads him to chart his own very dangerous course. People's motives aren't always what they seem, and they can change in an instant. Violence is usually a means to an end, particularly for the regular people without supernatural powers.

Positive role models

Stephen refuses to let his new powers interfere with his humanity, even against the advice of other Tomorrow People. Others on both sides of the power struggle hope to use him to further their own agendas, making it difficult to understand their true intentions.

Violence

Violent clashes between Ultra and the Tomorrow People involve lots of martial-arts-style fighting and some weapon use. In one scene, a man points a gun at another's head, and he's shot just as the victim is cut from the frame. The Tomorrow People have powers they can use against humans, but they're programmed not to kill.

Sex

Adult couples kiss and occasionally are shown sleeping in bed together. 

Language

"Hell," "dick," and "bitch" are common fare.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters are shown taking (and, in one case, selling) prescription drugs. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Tomorrow People is an angsty teen drama with paranormal flair in much the same vein as CW's other offerings like Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. Similarly it's yet another series that tries to pass off stunningly beautiful adults as everyday teens. Violence is prevalent, including lots of fighting and some deaths (they're not shown, but you see a man firing a gun at a victim, for instance), but there's little blood or gore. There is a fair dose of salty language ("bitch" and "hell," mostly) and a heap of characters whose motives are uncertain, including, to some degree, the main character's. On the flip side, though, his efforts to reconcile the two sides of his identity and find his unique place in the grand scheme can inspire thoughtful conversations with your teens about self-esteem and individuality.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE follows Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), a teen troubled by symptoms of schizophrenia and a mysterious sleep disorder that causes him to wake up in unfamiliar places with no recollection of how he got there. As the voice in his head grows louder, Stephen follows its directions to meet Cara (Peyton List), who tells him he belongs to the Tomorrow People, a highly evolved race with powers of telekinesis, teleporting, and telepathy. Before Stephen can fully process Cara's news, he's abducted by a government agency called Ultra that's tasked with rounding up the Tomorrow People to neutralize their threat. Suddenly Stephen is thrust into a tug-of-war between Cara's group and Ultra's leader, Dr. Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino), who turns out to be Stephen's absentee uncle. With his world crashing down, Stephen must decide between the Tomorrow People and Ultra's cause, all the while searching for clues to how his long-lost father fits into the picture.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The concept of people with supernatural powers is no stranger to the TV screen. Even taking classic supers like Superman out of the equation, it's been done in shows like Heroes and The 4400 with varying degrees of success. Enter The Tomorrow People, a teen-geared drama centered on a conflicted main character on a quest to uncover secrets from his past and to determine a path for his future. In basic terms like these, he's little different from most other teens, and his journey to find his niche is somewhat reminiscent of your teens' efforts to carve their own paths in life.

The show isn't entirely soapy frills or gripping drama, but it does entertain enough to raise your curiosity about what might happen next. Even better (at least for teens), it revolves around a cast of young adults of considerable physical attraction, which is bound to help its chances with this demographic. One has to consider what this is saying to the teens tuning in, though: If you're casting gorgeous twentysomethings to play supposedly run-of-the-mill high schoolers, doesn't it send impractical messages about how regular teens should look and act? The Tomorrow People certainly isn't alone on this issue, but it is something to ponder.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concept of the paranormal. Teens: What evidence, if any, exists to support the idea of paranormal activity or powers? Is a shortage of evidence enough to dismiss the possibility entirely?

  • Teens: Is the issue of body image something you notice in TV shows or movies? How attainable are the appearances of screen stars? Do you ever see people of larger sizes or with other seeming "imperfections" in the shows you watch? Are the expectations different for boys and girls?

  • What factors contribute to a TV show's success? Does it always have to do with the quality of the concept and writing? Are you less likely to watch something with a cast that's entirely unfamiliar to you?

TV details

Cast:Luke Mitchell, Mark Pellegrino, Robbie Amell
Network:CW
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Magic and fantasy
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of The Tomorrow People was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old January 12, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great TV show

This show is very entertaining and thrilling, bu is too violent for young kids. There is also some profanity, including "hell" and "b-tch", and some drugs (in the pilot episode, the main character is showing taking a prescription drug).
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byakamba July 5, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
My mum was a bit iffy about me watching it at first, because she came in as a gun was being fired at someone. However, after watching three episodes after that (she was kinda forced to; I was using a pen drive to play it on the television) she said it was fine. I wouldn't recommend it to people that are below the age of 13, though.
Teen, 17 years old Written byrabusler November 29, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Though the literal lifestyle of some of the characters is not something I'd replicate, I think the show has great hearts behind the characters. Great values such as protecting your family and friends. And it showed things like that even "villains" can have a sympathetic side, which I love because in real life there is no such thing as good guys and bad guys; everyone has both issues and good qualities. In the show, sometimes you never always knew who the real bad guy was. Overall, great "breaking out" super-power story plot with pretty good special effects for a storyline of this type. I wish they had a season 2!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

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