Parents' Guide to

When They See Us

By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Solid dramatic account of 1990s wrongful conviction trial.

TV Netflix Drama 2019
When They See Us Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 16+

Way to much violence for kids

Really good miniseries but very strong violence in prison

This title has:

Too much violence
age 15+

Intense adult themes

Lots of language, intense scenes of boy's repeatedly accused of rape and assault.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (7):

While it addresses an important subject and problematic piece of recent American history, this ambitious miniseries often depicts the complex idea of institutional racism in generalities and broad strokes. Despite being 30 years old, the Central Park Five case is still relevant, both in that it represents a clear case of racism in the American legal system, and because of Donald Trump's continued engagement with the case (he has called for the execution of the Central Park Five even after they were completely exonerated).

When They See Us seems to portray the NYPD as uniformly corrupt and racist: There's not a single voice of dissent among the officers, which, while dramatic, seems unlikely. On the other side, the Central Park Five all have nearly identical story arcs. More nuance would have brought such a complex and important subject the full gravity it deserves.

TV Details

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