White Dragon

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
White Dragon TV Poster Image
Hong Kong-set mystery has stereotypes, some violence.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Characters have dark secrets. Just about everything is connected to a greater conspiracy. Few, if any, positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

One appeal of the show is the setting: Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong, its people are almost universally portrayed as corrupt and amoral.


Story revolves around violent acts, violent deaths -- a car crash, a suicide -- though it mostly leaves actual moments of violence offscreen and instead displays aftermath.


No simulated sex or overtly sexual discussion, but some implied sex and post-sex scenes.


"S--t," "hell," "bitch," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Constant drinking, some smoking. No drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that White Dragon is a dark crime drama that takes place in a violent, lawless version of Hong Kong. The central mystery involves a British man coming to Hong Kong after his wife's death in a car accident and finding that she had been keeping secrets from him -- secrets that lead him to a large web of political corruption. White Dragon takes place in a world where everyone is connected to crime, but it keeps the on-screen violence restrained. There's some drinking, smoking, profane language, and sex.

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What's the story?

WHITE DRAGON introduces meek British professor Jonah Mulray (John Simm), who learns that his wife has died in a car accident in Hong Kong, where she lives half the year. Mulray travels there for the first time to recover his wife's body. Once there, he learns that she's been keeping huge secrets from him. As he meets the various people his wife knew in Hong Kong, Jonah discovers that she was involved in something bigger -- and darker -- than he could have ever imagined.

Is it any good?

Stories that involve a white man experiencing culture shock when traveling to a foreign country can be tricky, and this one is no exception. And though White Dragon's visual depiction of Hong Kong can be stunning, the region is depicted as an abyss of corruption from the street level to the political one. Jonah, our British protagonist and window into this world, deals with the cultural differences by using the classic, tried-and-true communication of yelling and over-enunciating at people who don't speak English.

In other words, White Dragon falls easily into all the traps of depicting a culture that isn't often seen on TV, and because it feels stretched so thin (presumably to fit its eight-episode run), the show lives in those negative stereotypes longer than necessary.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Hong Kong is depicted on White Dragon. Do you think that this is a realistic depiction of Hong Kong? Why or why not? How can you learn about other cities?

  • How do people deal with death and loss? What are some different ways that they cope? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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