Under the Dome
By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sci-fi drama explores the dark side of humans in captivity.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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."
Violence & Scariness
Gory scenes involve severed limbs, murder, and vertically bisected (and bloody) cows. There are also sudden crashes and explosions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Partial nudity shown from behind (bare backs, legs) and simulated sex without sensitive parts visible. Some characters appear in lingerie.
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Gateway words like "hell," "damn," and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Part of the plot involves a large-scale methamphetamine operation. Some characters use and abuse meth.
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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."
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Under the Dome
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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?
- Premiere date: June 24, 2013
- Cast: Dean Norris, Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre
- Network: CBS
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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