Parents' Guide to


By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent docudrama has unsettling depiction of cult leader.

TV Spike Drama 2018
Waco Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+


Informative overall of what went on. Scenes that talk about intercourse, intercourse with girls (underage), and at least one scene where the leader is engaging in intercourse with his wife. The docuseries is put together well, however it was pretty boring and it was much faster and more interesting to read online. One of the FBI persons, the negotiator, is a great role model and displayed excellent communication skills and was open minded.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
age 15+

Shocking and eye-opening docuseries

This series made me angry, sad, and guilty all at the same time. Its a great show for older teens, but I would suggest parents looking through it first before letting them watch it. Lets just say i wouldnt watch it with my 13 year old sister, but I would watch it with my 15 year old brother.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This troubling series presents a controversial retelling of the events that led to the violent deaths of 80 people during the standoff between the Branch Davidians and the U.S. government. It highlights the tensions between the FBI and ATF, as well as the lack of agreement between negotiators and tactical rescue teams, the latter of which were using increased militarized approaches to resolve conflicts with anti-establishment groups during that time. It also points to some of the Branch Davidians' religious practices at Mt. Carmel Center, which were guided by Koresh's interpretation of the apocalyptic Seven Seals (from the Bible's Book of Revelations).

Perhaps because it's based on the recollections of his former friend, Koresh is portrayed as a somewhat sympathetic character, regardless of the fact that he ordered his followers to illegally stockpile weapons, and fathered at least 12 children with multiple underage "wives." The story also fails to address the rationale behind these actions in any meaningful way. Despite the fact that Koresh and some of his followers were responsible for the deaths of so many, federal operatives are characterized as overly aggressive, politically motivated, and mostly responsible for what happened. All of this makes Waco an unsettling viewing experience, especially for those who were watching during those fateful days in 1993.

TV Details

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.

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