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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 True Lies is a TV reboot of the popular 1994 movie of the same name. There are lots of guns and other firepower, and people get bruised and bloodied from getting slapped, shot, thrown out of windows, etc. Occasional strong language is used, and social drinking is visible. There are references to love, romance, marriage, and infidelity. Family is a major theme throughout.
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What's the Story?
Inspired by the classic 1994 movie of the same name, TRUE LIES follows a covert U.S. international spy and his bored wife. Steve Howey plays Harry Tasker, a skilled U.S. intelligence agent working for Omega sector who's hiding his identity by pretending to be an average computer consultant. His wife Helen (Ginger Gonzaga) is a language professor who's bored with her suburban lifestyle. But when Harry's attempts to improve the romance in their marriage goes awry, Helen soon discovers who her husband really is. Now both of them will be working together with counter-intelligence operatives like Luther (Mike O'Gorman), Maria (Erica Hernandez), and Gib (Omar Benson Miller) under the direction of their no-nonsense boss Trilby (Beverly D'Angelo). Meanwhile, their neighbor Mrs. Myers (Deneen Tyler) is in charge of protecting the couple's cover, especially around their kids Dana (Annabella Didion) and Jake (Lucas Jaye).
Is It Any Good?
The lighthearted and silly series attempts to pick up where the original movie left off by offering a version of what life is like for the Taskers after Harry and Helen begin working together as spies. The problem is that it's also trying to shrink and sanitize a big-budget 1990s blockbuster movie into a segmented narrative intended for contemporary and family-friendly network television. True Lies does its best to deliver a satisfying combination of espionage aventures and domestic comedy, but lacks the seductive, edgy humor and over-the-top maneuvers that made it easy for viewers to suspend their beliefs and be entertained by the original film's absurd story world. Meanwhile, the lack of good writing makes for some corny dialogue which, combined with some obvious spy tropes and low-budget action sequences, just makes it seem like it's trying too hard. Overall, True Lies may hold some appeal for a younger generation of viewers unfamiliar with the '90s classic, but will be a woeful viewing experience for those who are.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the challenges that come with adapting a movie or movie concept for television. Does a story that first appeared in a film have to be changed for it work in a TV format? Why? Are there movies or movie concepts that simply would not work as a TV series?
Did you know that the movie True Lies is based on a French spy comedy film? How much of the True Lies TV series is also based on it?
- Premiere date: March 1, 2023
- Cast: Steve Howey, Ginger Gonzaga, Beverly D’Angelo, Omar Benson Miller
- Genre: Action
- Topics: Adventures
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: March 20, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Exciting mix of thrills, comedy; older teens and up.
Snide spy cracks jokes and shoots kneecaps.
Fresh spy thriller is offbeat, entertaining, and violent.
For kids who love thrillers
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