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Soapy lottery drama is OK for older teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main characters are imperfect, but largely moral. Most are generous with their winnings (although a bit greedy, too, but who wouldn't be?). When questionable behavior occurs, it's pointed out. One main character may be a bad-guy-turned-good. Cast is mostly white with two token characters of color.


Some parts of the storyline involve violence -- punching, threatening with a weapon.


Deep kissing, implied sexual activity, couples in bed together, provocative clothing.


Mild -- "hell," etc.


Lottery winners buy lots of stuff, but none of it is noticeably name-brand.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking by adults. Teen drinking with minor repercussions. Some drug use by bad guys. The gorgeous "bad boy" smokes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this soapy drama deals largely with adult relationships and the myriad issues they involve -- trust, sex, conflict, childrearing, adultery, divorce. Some of these topics could be too mature for younger viewers. In addition, teens are shown drinking and involved in intimate relationships. Some drug use appears, but mostly by unsavory characters.

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What's the story?

NBC drama WINDFALL focuses on 20 friends and acquaintances who strike it rich overnight when they each win $20 million in a giant jackpot. The core of the group is two couples: Peter and Nina Schaefer (Luke Perry and Lana Parrilla) and Cameron and Beth Walsh (Jason Gedrick and Sarah Wynter); Nina and Cameron, who dated in college, still harbor feelings for each another, and the sense of freedom that arrives with the money tempts them to reunite. Exceedingly gorgeous Sean Mathers (D.J. Cotrona) is an ex-con who needs a proxy to collect his money and pulls a beautiful lawyer into his dodgy scheme. Damian Cutler (Jon Foster) is a 17-year-old student chafing under his father's tight reins; the money gives him the chance to break free. And Kimberley George (Malinda Williams), who just happened to be delivering pizza to the house where the lottery pool was forming, is a young single mother whose big payday allows her to move out of the trailer park and make some positive changes for her son.

Is it any good?


With 20 characters to follow, the show's pace can be a little fast and choppy, but the main characters get enough time to develop, and they carry much of the emotional weight of the drama. Thanks to its swanky surroundings, beautiful people, and drama galore, Windfall definitely veers toward soapy (although the frequent flashbacks borrow from Lost's bag of tricks). If you're in the mood for that, Windfall could be a new addiction.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about money and how it affects relationships. How does money affect your life now? Do you think your life would be better if you had more money? How would a large sum of money change your life? How would your friendships change? How would you determine if friendly people were genuine or after your money? Would you give any of your money away? If yes, to whom?

TV details

Premiere date:June 8, 2006
Cast:Jason Godrick, Lana Parrilla, Luke Perry
TV rating:TV-14

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Adult Written by6^ April 9, 2008

Only seen one episode but can pass for TV-PG.

I've only seen one episode, but:


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