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What Parents Should Know About The Hardy Boys on Hulu

Everything Parents Should Know Before Watching Hulu's The Hardy Boys With Kids

THE HARDY BOYS, from left: Rohan Campbell, Cristian Perri, Adam Swain, (Season 1, ep. 102, aired Dec. 4, 2020). photo: Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

Classic detectives The Hardy Boys now have their very own Hulu murder mystery show that's a family-friendly treat — for the most part. The series follows brothers Joe (Alexander Elliot) and Frank Hardy (Rohan Campbell) as they spend the summer in the small town of Bridgeport and investigate the suspicious circumstances around their mother's death. Full of fun twists and mystical shenanigans, the show will keep viewers on their toes, emerging as a sort of TV-PG middle-grade spin on The CW's Riverdale and Nancy Drew. But given that the show centers around a murder, how family-friendly is The Hardy Boys? Well, the kids are definitely sneaking around in places where they shouldn't be — but that comes as no surprise as they're uncovering a mystery. The show gets moderately violent and scary, making it more suitable for older kids on the PG spectrum, perhaps younger teens. Of course, you know your child best, so here are a few things to consider while watching The Hardy Boys.

  1. The Hardy Boys go through a lot of emotional trauma.
    Early on, Joe and Frank devastatingly lose their mother, only to later find out that she was probably murdered. They process their grief while staying with their aunt (Bea Santos) in Bridgeport. Soon, their father leaves them to investigate his wife's death. While the show does offer comedic relief, the mood stays somewhat heavy.
  2. That said, we do see boys expressing their feelings on the show.
    Joe and Frank go through a rollercoaster of emotions, but they often talk out their feelings instead of resorting to toxic masculinity. They hug, cry, and communicate with one another instead of lashing out in anger when things don't go their way. The show makes it very clear that the brothers genuinely care for each other.
  3. The kids get in many dangerous situations.
    The show features the kids sneaking around a lot, and the adults are seldom aware of what they're doing. (Some adults, such as the police chief and their grandmother, even put the boys' lives in danger.) The brothers spend about half of the series playing cat and mouse with a menacing tall man who threatens their lives. Additionally, we often see moments where people are held hostage and tortured, although nothing too graphic ever occurs. The younger kids, such as Joe and Biff (Riley O'Donnell), also talk to sketchy strangers like J.B. (Atticus Mitchell) way more than they should.
  4. Yes, The Hardy Boys features a moderate amount of violence.
    The first episode more or less starts with gunshots followed by an explosion. People pull out weapons such as knives to threaten the kids. The villains on the show slap, slam, and punch people. Again, the series never gets super gruesome (except for moments involving the tall man, who gets electrocuted and hit by a car), but it does feature violence that can scare young kids. For a comparison that might be familiar, it's just a little less violent than your typical Marvel movie, which might be why it's rated TV-PG instead of PG-13 or TV-14.
  5. The series is long for a streaming show.
    The Hardy Boys might not be the show that the entire family can binge all at once, as it consists of 13 40-45 minute episodes. However, its fast pace and intriguing mystery make its runtime feel shorter than it is.

Overall, The Hardy Boys is, for the most part, action-packed fun with a whole lot of twists and turns, so be sure to queue it if you decide it's right up your family's alley!

Image Source: Everett Collection
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