Eric parents guide: This parent's worst nightmare is not for youngsters

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the new Netflix series.
Eric on Netflix - episode 2
Eric on Netflix - episode 2 /

Benedict Cumberbatch brings us a compelling story of a parent’s worst nightmare in Eric. When his nine-year-old son goes missing on the walk to school, he does everything he can to find him. And as you can imagine given the subject matter, this show will be terrifying for both parents and kids.

We’re heading back to 1980s New York for this limited series. Cumberbatch plays Vincent, a puppeteer and creator who ends up caught up in a search for his missing son. Edgar headed to school one morning and never made it there. A police detective, who is also investigating issues inside his department, does everything he can to find the boy.

Vincent isn’t going to leave it to the police. He needs to feel like he’s doing something, taking him to the dark underbelly of the city. All of this is set against the backdrop of the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

Eric parents guide: Explaining the TV-MA age rating

There is a lot of heavy material throughout Eric on Netflix, making it not the best for younger children. In fact, even tweens and teenagers may find this a little unsettling to watch. It’s rated TV-MA for "language, smoking, substances," and we take a look at why that is.

Sex & nudity: There isn’t much in the way of sex and nudity in the series. There are moments where characters undress for bed, but the focus is on the search for the missing child and the AIDS epidemic.

Violence: There is some violence throughout the series. The first episode involves a small fight in a club bathroom, which turns out to be a Vice squad officer beating on what seems to be an informant. Arguments between Vincent and his wife do get violent, but not between each other. There are a lot of items being thrown around.

Language: This is where the TV-MA rating really comes in. From the opening moments, there are multiple uses of the F-bomb. When we get moments of Edgar in his room, we see how he handles hearing swearing and takes in comments that are said. There are other swear words used throughout the series, although the C-word isn't dropped.

Alcohol & drugs: As Vincent struggles more and more with the disappearance of his son and the fear of something happening, he circles into a deeper depression, and he starts to drink more. We see him drinking from a hip flask shortly after Edgar disappears. There is drug use throughout the series, as well, with one cop taking drugs in a club bathroom in the first episode alone.

Overall verdict: Who is Eric appropriate for?

This series is packed with heavy material. It focuses on the story and character development through conversations rather than through violence. It can make it a little “boring” for some older children as they prefer something with more action.

The weight of the subject matter and the language makes this series unsuitable for children. Put this on when they’ve gone to bed.

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