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 Watch is a science fiction/fantasy show about a police force made up of misfits and magical creatures. The show uses elements of dark comedy, crime, and mystery to tell the story of Captain Vimes, a former gang member who became a police captain. It is based on characters from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of novels, and features witches, wizards, werewolves, and dragons, among other mythical creatures. Comic book-style violence is featured throughout the series, including fistfights, knifeplay, crossbow shoot-outs, firefights, and a man is thrown off a building. Vimes is an alcoholic, often seen drinking or inebriated to the point of dysfunction. Fictional drugs are seen and discussed throughout the series, though drug usage and its effects are not shown. The Watch features some potentially complex ideas, such as police corruption and the morality of crime, but it approaches them on a mostly surface level.
What's the story?
THE WATCH tells the story of Captain Vimes, a disillusioned and alcoholic police captain. Vimes (Richard Dormer) is a former gang member who intended to infiltrate the Watch in order to assassinate its leader, but ended up finding a home there. He betrays his mentor from the gang, Carcer Dun (Samuel Adewunmi), accidentally pushing him off a building while attempting to make an arrest. Twenty years later, after unexpectedly being promoted to captain, Vimes is a depressed alcoholic, The Watch is a laughing stock, and the city of Ankh-Morpark is mostly lawless. Then, after being presumed dead for two decades, Carcer reappears and Vimes and his team must find out what their old friend is up to before it's too late.
Is it any good?
It can be challenging for shows to be completely original while still giving an audience what they want. The Watch tries to solve this problem by pulling together ideas from across the science fiction and fantasy landscape. There are wizards, werewolves, and even a Groot-Chewbacca-type combo character as members of the squad. People love dragons, so there's got to be a dragon. That's before considering the genre-hopping the show does between dark comedy, crime procedural, and adventure sequences. As a result, the series is a bit of a mess. The main story never comes together, and there's no strong character to root for. In many ways, The Watch could be anything at any time. The series tries to do so many different things at once that it never manages to do any one thing very well.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the city of Ankh-Morpark, where The Watch takes place. What do we know about the city? What is the role of The Watch in the city? What do we know about the history of this society? Where do the characters fit in to that history?
Who is Captain Vimes? What is he like when we meet him? What motivates him? How does his behavior impact the other members of the Watch? How does he change in the first episode, and over the course of the series?
Who are the other main characters in The Watch? How do they fit into the story? What are their motivations? What do they contribute to the team?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love sci-fi dramas
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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