Why Hulu’s “Kids” Show UTOPIA FALLS Isn’t a Fit for Families
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
Hulu’s UTOPIA FALLS doesn’t have much to offer audiences other than another unsuccessful jab at a futuristic repressed world. Unfortunately, Hulu advertises the show as “kid-friendly” for 8-12 year-olds, but there are far too many questionable elements to be safe for your family.
UTOPIA FALLS can be easily compared to trilogies like THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT.
However, instead of being as far-fetched as the movies mentioned above, the series tries to connect with the current culture teenagers–specifically African-American teenagers–and young adults face today.
The series follows a group of 16-year-olds in the colony of New Babyl, which formed after the citizens lost a war.
The teenagers are chosen for a competition called “The Exemplar.” The competition allows the individuals to express themselves in an artistic way, but the songs they have access to are limited because of the government’s overreach.
When the teenagers arrive to their competition home, the main characters, Aliyah 5 and Bohdi 2, find a historical archive filled with a history removed from public record.
The history shows the teenagers modern-day rap and pop music and how groups of people used this music to stand up for what they believe is right. The history encourages the teenagers to rebel against the government to show their individuality.
Though the show is marketed to children, the series has some questionable content elements.
As Movieguide® Founder and Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr noted in “The Culture-Wise Family,” research indicates that children should only consume content that adheres to the following guidelines:
- Stories with many characters who solve their problems together
- Strong characters with real life dilemmas and solutions
- Information that helps them bring clarity to the world and non-fiction
- Stories that ask important questions about life with positive resolutions
- Storylines that involve the audience, such as mysteries and game shows
- Plots and settings that challenge their sense of real and imaginary
UTOPIA FALLS follows the five of these guidelines, but also misses the mark with some of the content.
The show features a homosexual relationship, and another relationship between two women raising children. It is unclear, though, if these women are partners.
Secrets are at the forefront, as the government hides information about the past in the name of “equality.”
There are, however, some positive elements, as well.
The teenagers lead peaceful protests to enlighten the community about the government’s wrongdoings.
Many of the characters initially supported the government, but were skeptical once it was revealed the government was hiding secrets.
UTOPIA FALLS also shows some healthy family relationships. Some characters don’t have a family because their parents disappeared, but the show gives them mentors and caretakers who look out for them.
Though there are some redemptive elements, UTOPIA FALLS ultimately falls short of quality TV and requires extreme caution for families.
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