3 Body Problem parents guide: Is the new Netflix show a problem for kids?

The Game of Thrones guys are back with all the nudity and violence you might expect from a TV-MA-rated show.

3 Body Problem. Jess Hong as Jin Cheng in episode 103 of 3 Body Problem. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
3 Body Problem. Jess Hong as Jin Cheng in episode 103 of 3 Body Problem. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /
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The Game of Thrones guys, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, are back with a big new sci-fi show titled 3 Body Problem. Along with EP Alexander Woo, the trio has adapted what were once considered unadaptable novels by Liu Cixin. It’s Netflix’s next big release, and kids may want to check it out. But is 3 Body Problem going to be a big problem for families?

Here’s the gist of the show, and some spoilers past this point. Somehow, physics has stopped working properly. Scientists are dying. A mysterious virtual reality game is showing up at peoples’ doors. And a cast of international characters are trying to figure out how they connect. Meanwhile, back in the ‘60s in China, a woman scientist tries to navigate the harsh realities of Communist China.

It’s a big show with a big scope. And yes, there are aliens involved, so it’s an alien invasion series as well. Plus, direct from Game of Thrones you’ve got Liam Cunningham, John Bradley, and more. So, let’s get into it. Here’s what you need to know about the content of 3 Body Problem on Netflix, and whether it’s appropriate for kids.

3 Body Problem Parents Guide: Explaining The TV-MA Rating

So, 3 Body Problem is rated TV-MA. However, as we’ve seen before, that rating can vary wildly depending on the actual content. Sometimes it’s an overestimation; sometimes it’s an underestimation. Here’s what you need to know.

Sex & Nudity: There is indeed graphic, full-frontal nudity on the show. In the virtual reality sequences, at one point a whole army of nude people swim up through the water. There are also discussions and implications of sex. It’s nothing raunchy, and there’s barely even any “fall into bed/fade to black” type scenes so much as two characters wake up after a one night stand, and at one point a character is in her sports bra with the guy who likes her. That’s pretty much it; nudity and sexuality, but not at the same time.

Violence: Yes, lots, and this is probably where the show gets most of its TV-MA rating. There are depictions of death by suicide, people who have bloodily killed themselves, action scenes where people graphically get shot with guns, and one sequence where an entire boatload of people get vivisected in the most horrific way possible. That’s not even getting into the virtual reality sequences where people are dehydrated, and then rehydrated, which is perhaps not violent; but it’s gross.

Language: These are adults in adults situations, and there’s a lot of cursing going down at all points. Nothing insanely creative, but expect regular f-bombs and other curses of that sort.

Drinking & Drugs: There’s drug use, and drinking, and at one point a character gets violently ill from drinking too much. Mostly they’re not dealing with this world-ending scenario very well.

Overall Verdict: What Age Is 3 Body Problem Appropriate For?

3 Body Problem indeed earns its TV-MA rating with nudity, violence, and language in particular. There’s also some sex and drinking there, but it’s probably the dozens of nude people and watching an entire boat of people fall into bloody pieces that makes this inappropriate for kids. 17 and up, you’re good to go. Younger than that and you’re going to have a real problem. A three body problem, if you will.

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