Parents' Guide to

Vanity Fair

By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Bland literary adaptation even dulls edgy protagonist.

Vanity Fair Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+


I did not finish this show. I made it in a few episodes and stopped. I went off of the details on content, but was disappointed. I was hoping for a beautiful, clean rendition of the book. The plot drags. I have read the book in its entirety, and it is long, but this show is so boring. Becky loses her vivacity from the book. She is not so cunning as in the book. The language is about the same as the book. Uses of d-, a-, h-, and I believe "whore" was used once to where I got in the series. Plenty of uses of "hussy." There are some sexual innuendos, some less obvious, some obvious. It has touches of modern things which really take away from the atmosphere, mostly music. There is a scene where Rawdon & Becky are shown in bed together. They are covered, but you can clearly see that they are naked underneath. There is a lot of smoking and drinking, which was in the book. It is totally lacking. I think they focused too much on appealing to young people and the modern audience of today that it lost its character and classic feel. I did not finish the whole series, so I don't know what else is in there. I would not recommend this show to anyone.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

Literary adaptations -- especially those of centuries-old material -- tend to work best when there are strong answers to the questions: Why this? Why now? Vanity Fair doesn't seem to have those answers, making it feel like an arbitrary and bland series. There are hints that it wants to feel contemporary, like the use of pop music or Becky's occasional knowing glance into the camera, but they're never followed through on with conviction. Worst of all, the show seems to have dulled the edges on its protagonist, who in the novel is meant to be a manipulative and striving young woman, but here comes off as mostly charming. Without a point-of-view on its characters, its source material, or even its own stylistic choices, Vanity Fair feels completely by-the-book in the worst possible way.

TV Details

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