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Treadstone

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Treadstone TV Poster Image
Disappointing action spin-off is violent, has cursing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There are spies lurking and working among us as a residual of the Cold War. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

It’s unclear as to whether the USSR was the only country involved in the operation. 

Violence

Endless action sequences include fist fights, knife attacks, being injected with poison, strangulation, and shootings. Bloody wounds, ranging from gun shots to dismembered fingers visible. 

Sex
Language

Words like "hell" and cursing (including "f--k") is audible. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette and cigar smoking visible. Prescription drugs are taken. Poisons are used to assassinate people. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Treadstone is a thriller series that's spun-off from the Jason Bourne movie franchise. It's got lots of action-packed sequences that are both violent and bloody. Endless action sequences include fist fights, knife attacks, being injected with poison, strangulation, and shootings. Bloody wounds, ranging from gun shots to dismembered fingers visible. Smoking and prescription drug use is visible, and swearing includes "hell" and "f--k." 

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What's the story?

TREADSTONE is a action thriller based on the Jason Bourne film series. When John Randolph Bentley (Jeremy Irvine) is programmed by KGB agents like Petra (Emilia Schüle) to assassinate on command in the 1970s, he embodies a covert operation known as "Operation Treadstone." Now, five decades later, dormant operatives (or  "cicadas") are being woken up around the world and being called upon to do their jobs. From an oil rig worker in Alaska (Brian J. Smith) to a North Korean piano teacher (Hyo-Joo Han), the cicadas find themselves having skills they didn’t know they had, speaking languages they had no idea they knew, and strangely committed to eliminating their targets. Meanwhile, the CIA gets wind of the program, and folks like journalist Tara Coleman (Tracy Ifeachor) are inevitably thrust into a lair of spies. 

Is it any good?

This overly-packed spin-off, based on Robert Ludlum’s popular spy novels, offers viewers a chance to explore the beginnings (and current operations) of Jason Bourne’s fictional world. The characters, especially CIA deputy director Ellen Becker (Michelle Forbes) have great potential, but the bad writing keeps any of them from having any substance in predictable, orchestrated scenes. This, combined with flashbacks, creates a story so confusing that even the most die-hard Bourne fans will find it difficult to follow. Some folks may find it entertaining, but Treadstone lacks the depth and suspense that the franchise is known for, which is pretty disappointing. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it takes to adapt a story from an established movie series for television. How do they change stories in order to make it work? 

  • What kind of questions is Treadstone meant to answer about Jason BourneDoes it successfully do this?

TV details

For kids who love action

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