A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Fans of country music will thrill at the sight of all the stars who pay homage to Willie in this show, testifying to his journey from rags to riches. Country music history unfolds as personal stories are told by music legends like Brenda Lee and Dolly Parton. A walk down memory lane also packs a historical punch, as life for poor people in the South is documented.
Perseverance paves the road to success. Art and music can help transform despair into joy. Find your voice. Music can be a form of worship. Music can bring grace to a desperate situation. Hard work pays off. You can turn a disability into an advantage. Inspiration can be found everywhere. Hearing about a person's life experience can inspire others to move forward. Having empathy for others can help change the world.
Positive Role Models
Willie Nelson's family and peers in the music industry value his experience and his expression. Willie himself has a good sense of his failings and his strengths, which can be an inspiration to viewers who wonder how to foster creativity. Hard work is a running theme in this series, emphasizing the importance of moving forward despite setbacks or disabilities.
Willie Nelson's mother, who was three-quarters Cherokee, was discriminated against in their small Texas town in the 1930s and '40s, which led her to leave her children to be raised by their White grandparents. Willie married a "full-blooded Cherokee" woman, with whom he had children. Musicians who speak about Willie's music hail from different backgrounds (Black, mixed-race), though the majority of people in this show are White. Women speak about their roles in the country music world, and how they forged ahead in a male-dominated world.
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Violence & Scariness
Suicidal behavior is mentioned in detail (Willie Nelson admits to having lain in the road at one point in hopes of being struck by a car). Fistfighting is discussed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Implied sex is discussed in passing.
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Occasional use of language includes "s--t," "f--k," "damn," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and alcoholism are themes. Marijuana use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Willie Nelson and Family is a docuseries that delves into the influences and history of one of country music's most influential musicians. Expect conversations about drinking to excess, alcoholism, and mentions of marijuana use. Nelson talks about feeling suicidal and having attempted suicide (by lying in the road). Educational content about music history and the creative process runs strong in this series. Language includes moderate use of "f--k," "s--t," and "damn." Character strengths of perseverance, communication, and empathy are evident.
Is It Any Good?
Moody, soulful, and beautifully reckoned, this biopic about a music legend doesn't content itself with superficial storytelling. Issues of poverty, racism, struggles with drinking, and suicidal ideation get air time in Willie Nelson and Family, illustrating that even legends are mortal.
Musicians who have walked the journey with Nelson -- and those whose art saw the light of day because of his influence -- chime in to bear witness to his mastery. Families with teens who enjoy music documentaries will dig this inspirational series the most. Don't be surprised if a deeper appreciation for the music results.
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.