Under the Dome



Sci-fi drama explores the dark side of humans in captivity.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

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

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."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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."

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.

Families can talk 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

This review of Under the Dome was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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What parents and kids say

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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!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent 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 this is considered "15 year old" kid type show when most kids are not having sex at this age. This is definitely "R" rated material. I would not watch this with my mom.
What other families should know
Too much sex
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.
What other families should know
Great messages


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