Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Under the Dome

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Under the Dome TV Poster Image
Sci-fi drama explores the dark side of humans in captivity.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some storylines emphasize the need to work together in times of uncertainty, but the overall takeaway suggests that negative forces are at work.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some characters are virtuous, and some are obvious villains. But there are also those who toe the line between "good" and "bad."


Gory scenes involve severed limbs, murder, and vertically bisected (and bloody) cows. There are also sudden crashes and explosions.


Partial nudity shown from behind (bare backs, legs) and simulated sex without sensitive parts visible. Some characters appear in lingerie.


Gateway words like "hell," "damn," and "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Part of the plot involves a large-scale methamphetamine operation. Some characters use and abuse meth.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Under the Dome centers on a catastrophic event that wreaks havoc and destruction on a small town, yielding some bloody scenes that involve severed limbs, bisected animals, and murder. There are also flashes of suggestive sexual content with partial nudity and simulated intercourse, along with gateway terms like "ass," "hell," and "damn."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written bynjackson July 1, 2013

sex on television

I was mortified to be watching a 9pm show with my 13 year old and see a major network show showing people having sex! So graphic , grossly inappropriate!
Adult Written byNewYork Pediatrician June 26, 2013

Why you cannot watch television with your kids anymore

any show where they show people naked having sex until orgasm should not be shown to kids. Very upset this is not for television.It is also upsetting that now t... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byJack Sawyer July 1, 2013

Know your kid

A mostly-appropriate tv drama, under the dome has a few 'naughty' scenes, but is appropriate for the average teen.
Teen, 17 years old Written bycathycathy September 16, 2013

No sex

There has been one weak sex scene in the entire series, it is not about sex at all, not sure why the above people are lying about it. The 'sexual terms... Continue reading

What's the story?

The small town of Chester's Mill is turned upside-down when an invisible -- and impenetrable -- barrier inexplicably surrounds the town, trapping most of the residents inside and UNDER THE DOME with no way out. But it doesn't take long for chaos to erupt, making way for the rise of new leadership with uncertain aims.

Is it any good?

This highly anticipated television adaptation miniseries of Stephen King's novel of the same name gets points for an intriguing premise and eye-popping visuals that make you want to keep watching -- if for no other reason than to figure out what in the world could flatten the front of a speeding delivery truck and cut a cow in half so cleanly. That said, the special effects aren't always convincing enough to completely immerse you in King's carefully drawn world, resulting in an end product that feels less compelling than it could be.

Although Chester's Mill is largely peopled with adults, Under the Dome will likely appeal to older teens, too. And for the most part, the source material's crudest content (mainly language, as in sexually charged terms like "slit snacking," and disturbing scenes involving gang rape and suggestions of necrophilia) has been heavily sanitized for TV audiences, making it an OK but still-edgy choice for older teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Under the Dome's sci-fi-heavy plot and which parts are actually plausible. In terms of violence, who proves to be the bigger threat to the people of Chester Mill: extraterrestrials or human beings?

  • How closely does Under the Dome adhere to the Stephen King book it's based on? If you've read it, discuss the similarities and differences. If you haven't, try doing some research to see what changes might have been made.

  • Who are the series' most positive role models? Can a character have flaws and still be heroic? How do earth-shattering events in real life that are on par with the appearance of "the Dome" create opportunities for ordinary people to perform extraordinary acts of heroism?

TV details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love science fiction

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate