Love Monster (TV-Y)

Streaming

Age 3+

Friendly beast teaches preschoolers how to manage emotions.

Love Monster” is a preschool series that teaches social-emotional lessons in an adorable way. There are some very mild expressions of fear (when going down a big slide, for example), but the main monster character is not at all scary. Overall, these short episodes will be entertaining for preschoolers and help teach important life lessons. (Eight-minute episodes)

Available on HBO Max.

All Creatures Great and Small (TV-PG)

Streaming

Age 10+

Charming remake of vet’s classic books is a pleasant watch.

All Creatures Great and Small” is an adaptation of the beloved autobiographical stories by British veterinarian James Herriot. They center on his experiences as a new vet assistant in rural England in the mid-20th century. Some scenes involve the fairly graphic reality of animal husbandry — including birth, illness, injury and death — as well as mention of matters like putting an animal down to prevent its suffering. The show also reflects the time in which the story is set, with predictable gender roles (women tending to house matters and men at work, for instance) and personal behavior like smoking more the norm than in modern times. James is a likable fellow for his sunny outlook and unfailing self-confidence, and it’s fun to celebrate his small career and personal victories with him. A romantic relationship marks its beginning stages, and salty language such as “damn” is rarely heard. This engaging series introduces viewers to a time, place and life’s passion that might be unfamiliar to them and could change their awareness of how other people lived and worked during Herriot’s lifetime. (Seven roughly hour-long episodes)

Available on PBS.

WandaVision (TV-PG)

Streaming

Age 11+

Scary, surreal visuals in quirky superhero mystery show.

WandaVision”is a series starring superhero characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). In this show, they’re a married couple, who star in vintage-style TV sitcoms that progress in era as the show goes on, starting in the 1950s. Thus the show begins on an extremely mild note, with mild cursing (“damn”), some references to drinking (“How is anybody doing this sober?” says a character) and an adult scene in which a married couple turns out the lights and crawls under the covers together, implying imminent sex. However, as the “real” modern world begins breaking through the “WandaVision” sitcoms, expect mature content to increase, especially violence, since superhero narratives usually progress to battles involving superpowers, dastardly villains and deadly battles with lots of special effects. A scene in an early episode in which a character crawls unexpectedly out of a manhole on a suburban street in a beekeeper costume and turns to show that he has no face clues us in to expect spooky visuals, sudden shocks and unexpected violence. (Half-hour episodes)

Available on Disney Plus.

No Man's Land (PG-13)

Streaming

Age 14+

Earnest but awkward western drama has guns, violence.

No Man’s Land” is a modern-day western drama about a White rancher’s son in Texas who accidentally shoots and kills a young Mexican immigrant. It’s about facing the consequences of your actions, and it’s clearly trying to offer a positive portrayal of immigrants, but its good intentions outweigh its storytelling skills by quite a bit. Violence is the biggest concern, with guns and shooting, death (including that of a child) and dead bodies, bloody wounds, a knife and stabbing, rock-throwing, slapping, a cow getting stuck in barbed wire and a jump from a high place that leads to injury. Language includes a (partly obscured) use of “f---,” plus “s---,” “a--hole,” “b----,” “goddamn” and more. A teen boy smokes, and characters drink beer and tequila in a bar. Sex isn’t an issue, but mild flirting is implied. (115 minutes)

Available on various streaming platforms.

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