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 this fast-paced thriller has lots of tension and (mostly bloodless) violence. Expect lots of chase scenes, crashes, and FBI agents and others wielding semi-automatic weapons. Friends and family members turn out to be enemies, and even the FBI isn't to be trusted -- which could be an unsettling notion for some younger viewers. Scenes in bars involve drinking and flirting, and there's some kissing and gratuitous shots of shirtless men.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the action-drama TRAVELER, three Yale graduate students set off on a post-graduation road trip, only to get mired in a dangerous world of intrigue and terrorism that might reach to the upper echelons of the government. After one of the trio goes missing and is presumed dead, the other two realize that their friend might have been involved in framing them for an explosion at a major New York City museum. Faster than you can say \"conspiracy,\" they're on the run from the FBI. Expecting danger around every corner and confused about who to trust, newbie lawyer Jay Burchell (Matthew Bomer) and budding venture capitalist Tyler Fog (Logan Marshall-Green) flee the city with the help of a mysterious hotel porter (Billy Mayo).
Is it any good?
Not surprisingly for a series with this kind of premise, a feeling of urgency and fear permeates the show, along with the sense that friends could be enemies -- and vice versa. There's also plenty of tension and a fair number of (mostly bloodless) violent exchanges. For example, in one episode, the two fugitives are nabbed by the FBI and thrown in the back of a van, which is then hit by another vehicle. As one agent attempts to secure the prisoners, he shoots at Tyler (narrowly missing his head) and is then shot and killed by someone off screen.
With its talented cast and high production values, Traveler is easy to watch, especially for fans of tense dramas like 24. Unfortunately, the situations the guys find themselves in often seem improbable, making it difficult to suspend your disbelief and really get into the action. In one scene, for example, when the two elitely educated, Caucasian American men are trying to decide whether to go to the police with information or go on the lam, one convinces the other that if they're caught they'll be accused of terrorism, saying, "They'll ship us right to Guantanamo Bay!" Probably not.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about trust. Who are we taught to trust as we grow up? Why do so many TV shows and movies turn those lessons on their ear, with double-crosses and betrayals from people's nearest and dearest? Do you think shows like this send realistic messages about law enforcement agencies? On a personal level, families can discuss their own friendships. Have you ever been surprised to find something out about a friend? What kinds of things do you keep from your friends? Why?