When the Street Lights Go On

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
When the Street Lights Go On TV Poster Image
High school murder mystery has sex, nudity, violence.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This murder mystery is also a coming-of-age story in the vein of Veronica Mars.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It features a diverse cast in non-stereotypical roles.


Violence is central to the story: A young girl and her teacher are kidnapped and shot dead by an unknown assailant. 


Full-frontal male nudity is shown in first few minutes. Features relationships between underage students and adult teenagers. Includes a scene where a man and a woman are forced to strip at gunpoint.


No cursing, but talk about male and female body parts ("titties") and other sexual terms ("horny").

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teenagers are routinely shown drinking and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that When the Street Lights Go On is a murder mystery about a student journalist who investigates the deaths of a teacher and a fellow student. Though the show takes place in a high school and has a lighter, Veronica Mars-esque vibe, it does have a lot of mature content, including underage sex, statutory rape, and underage drinking. Full-frontal male nudity is shown within the first few minutes, and the show features relationships between underage students and adult teenagers, and includes a scene where a man and a woman are forced to strip at gunpoint.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byPzvl517 November 24, 2020

Great show

I haven't seen it for a while, I don't remember much besides swearing, drinking/drugs and some violence, it really just depends on when you are okay w... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAlfredoscrubs123 May 3, 2020

When it comes to awesomeness, but sometimes comes to uncomfortable

It's pretty good, I think the content is something that will be okay for high school kids to watch, because of their maturity. I'm about to go to hig... Continue reading

What's the story?

In WHEN THE STREET LIGHTS GO ON, when a student and her teacher are murdered, a high school journalist (Ben Ahlers) decides to cover the story for the school newspaper. As he investigates the crime, he uncovers unsettling parts of his hometown that few people knew existed. 

Is it any good?

A murder mystery is an ambitious use of Quibi's short-form platform: 10-minute episodes seem like a tough way to establish a complex web of suspects and motives. But When the Street Lights Go On's brief installments feel confident and content-rich, each revealing as much information as, say, a chapter of a novel. The screenplay has been floating around for years, reaching some notoriety, and this is an interesting way to finally see it presented. With continued solid writing and complex but clear storytelling, it's probably worth sticking around to see the murderer unveiled.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about murder mysteries. Why are they so popular? What do you think goes into creating a truly surprising outcome? 

  • What do we know about the setting and time period of When the Street Lights Go On? How does this affect the relationships and the mystery?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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