Talented cast, sweet story sell time-travel teen dramedy.
“Find Me in Paris” is a teen dramedy about a ballerina named Lena (Jessica Lord) who travels through time from 1905 to the 21st century and must protect her secret until she finds a way back home. As with many fish-out-of-water stories, much of the show’s humor comes at Lena’s expense as she learns new social norms by immersion. She’s also the victim of bullying and cyberbullying from a manipulative classmate who looks to keep her own social status by sabotaging Lena. Expect some teen romances that are mostly sweet but do include hugging and kissing. This international series also features a lot of really impressive dance sequences from the talented cast. (26 half-hour episodes)
Available via Hulu streaming.
Well-intentioned tale about adoption has mild language.
“Bennett’s Song” is a family movie that highlights the benefits of adoption. A widower and divorcée who’ve each adopted seven children from all over the world fall in love and blend their families, raising issues about racism, loyalty, child-rearing, education, competition and tolerance. Language includes “b----,” “hell,” “damn” and “a--.” In response to unspecified racial slurs, protective older kids stand up for their younger siblings. A teacher complains that a teenager has made a science joke about snow men with “snow balls” and snow women with “snow-varies.” (108 minutes)
Available via Amazon streaming.
Violent political thriller hits marks but lacks nuance.
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” is a political action thriller starring John Krasinski (“The Office,” “A Quiet Place”). The series depicts the CIA searching for the leader of a terrorist sect named Suleiman, and splits time between office work in America and missions in Europe and the Middle East. The show spends a lot of time with Suleiman, his allies and his family, so there are depictions of terrorism from the inside and outside. The show is extremely violent, with at least one shootout in each episode, as well as military bombing and assorted terrorist acts. Though sex doesn’t feature in the main story line, the show does depict female nudity and simulated sex acts. Finally, though the show does attempt to create some sympathetic Muslim characters, they never really transcend two dimensions, and the show mostly depicts Muslims as violent terrorists. (Eight approximately 45-minute episodes)
Available via Amazon streaming.
Teen love story with sci-fi twist has some edgy content.
“The Innocents” is a dark, serious love story with science-fiction elements. Mild scenes of teen sex are mixed with kinkier club scenes and a fair amount of drug use. But violence is probably the big concern here, with bloody fistfights, electrocution as part of scientific experiments and death by gunshot. A key character’s shape-shifting experience is also depicted as painful and scary. More similar in tone to “The OA” and “The Returned” than “Stranger Things,” this well-acted drama is a great pick for older teens who don’t need big thrills but enjoy a story that unravels at a deliberate pace. (Eight approximately hour-long episodes)
Available via Netflix streaming.
Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsensemedia.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.
Common Sense Media