A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's some general positive messaging about perseverance, survival, and new beginnings in the face of an undead apocalypse, but it's far from the series' focus.
Positive Role Models
Features an ethnically and gender diverse cast, including the the two leads -- teenage sisters, one white, one Black, from an African-American family. The siblings are flawed characters that sometimes get into trouble and break rules, but they're also smart, brave, and emotionally mature. They also care deeply for each other, their family, and their friends.
Violence & Scariness
Grotesque zombies are frequently featured, many of which attack -- and are killed -- in a graphic manner. A mother is shot in front of her young daughter, and a young girl shoots a woman. Corpses are shown in the wreckage of a plane crash.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Minor reference to teens dating.
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"Sucks," "ass," and "hell" are used. Characters "flip the bird."
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Products & Purchases
The series is a part of the hugely popular The Walking Dead franchise, which sells everything from t-shirts and toys to comic books and video games.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke and teenagers drink alcohol. A character illegally makes the latter, and gets drunk with another character. The illegal alcohol is referenced frequently and its creator is briefly imprisoned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Walking Dead: World Beyond is the latest television spin-off of the popular The Walking Dead series. The zombie apocalypse drama features a younger, primarily teenage cast of characters, including two sisters -- one white, one Black -- from an African-American family. The young protagonists are portrayed as intelligent, strong survivors who look out for their family and friends. That said, they do get up to some trouble and break rules. One of the teenage girls crafts illegal alcohol, which she drinks in excess with her sister. She's also briefly imprisoned for the offense. As is typical of the franchise's other shows, there's plenty of ghoulish, gruesome zombies on display. The undead attack, and are attacked, in a graphic and gory manner. A mother is shot and killed in front of her young daughter; the daughter, in turn, shoots and kills the woman responsible for her mother's death. Inappropriate language includes "ass," "sucks," and "hell."
Is It Any Good?
The primarily teen cast delivers strong performances, and Ormond's Civic Republic Military heavy makes for a convincing frenemy, but a threadbare plot and sluggish pacing doesn't do this show any favors. Early on in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, a woman runs over a zombie with her vehicle. She's annoyed by the undead creep shuffling toward the grill of her Jeep, but no more so than she might be by a traffic jam. It's a brief scene, but one that highlights the double edged sword the new The Walking Dead spin-off struggles to overcome. Ten years after the outbreak struck, the series' Nebraska-based community -- secured within a walled college campus -- is a pretty safe place. After following the harrowing lives of the other two series' characters, it's initially interesting seeing a society not just survive, but thrive in a time where walkers are more nuisance than threat. But that compelling set-up is challenged by having to tell stories not dependent on characters being under the constant threat of having their brains eaten.
And while walkers -- called "empties" in World Beyond -- are certainly still in the mix, their once-shocking impact is starting to reach the point of diminishing returns. The two previous series have famously survived slow and uneven seasons -- often returning better than ever -- but World Beyond beginning in a slump isn't encouraging. Coupled with the fact it's the third show in a decade-old franchise, its uninspired storytelling and familiar foes don't bode well for its future.
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.