Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (TV-PG)
Gripping but intense animated shorts detail Jedi lore.
“Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi” is a series of animated shorts about Jedi lore. It delves into Jedi history and shares the early adventures of some pivotal Star Wars characters. While the stories range in tone from somber to lighter, all are somewhat intense, and there are some frankly brutal scenes, including a beheading. Violence includes sci-fi guns and other weapons. In one long sequence, a dead body is paraded through a town. There are also scary and disturbing villains who may be too much for younger viewers. Alien characters drink in a bar. (Six roughly 15-minute episodes)
Available on Disney Plus.
The Midnight Club (TV-MA)
Spooky show has teen peril, body horror, drug use, cursing.
“The Midnight Club” is based on the 1994 book of the same name by young adult horror author Christopher Pike, and is created by Mike Flanagan (“The Haunting of Hill House”) and Leah Fong (“The Haunting of Bly Manor”). The storyline concerns a group of terminally ill teens at a mysterious hospice who meet at night to tell scary stories (many of which are plotlines of other Pike books). The overall mood of the show is spooky, yet lightened up by the relationships between teen hospice residents. Nonetheless, expect lots of scary moments, including the body horror engendered by serious illness (including blood, scars, dead bodies, medical procedures, self-harm and hospital beds), and supernatural imagery (ghostly apparitions, humanlike figures with empty eye sockets). Characters will die over the course of the series. Parents should also expect romance to play a minor part in the story, with flirting and kissing. Cursing includes “motherf—er,” “f—,” “f—ing,” “s—,” “bulls—,” “b—-,” “hell,” “damn” and “a–.” Teens share wine and other drinks together and frankly discuss taking morphine for pain. In at least one spooky side story, a character is a heroin addict and we see her injecting heroin, guzzling liquor and smoking pot. Nonetheless, this show is not without redeeming messages, including the value of accepting things one cannot change, the importance of supportive friendship and the message sent by its diverse young cast, who focus on what they have in common instead of differences. (10 roughly hour-long episodes)
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (TV-MA)
Nightmare-fueling anthology has gory violence, swearing.
“Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” is an eight-episode horror anthology series created by the Mexican director of “The Shape of Water” and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” among others. Del Toro himself hosts each episode, in the style of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” It’s very gory, with grotesque scenes, decomposing bodies, nasty-looking monsters and jump scares. The stories deal with greedy characters, dominated by selfishness and grief, who encounter ghosts and monsters. There’s also frequent use of words including “f—,” “s—,” “a–hole” and “goddamn.” Like most of Del Toro’s filmography, this series has high-quality production values and is very well written and acted but is definitely not for young/sensitive viewers. (Eight hour-long episodes)
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