The Pretender

1996 TV-PG 1 season

The Pretender

1996 TV-PG 1 season
  • Overview
  • Seasons
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After being kidnapped as a child, Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) is trained by a shadowy organization known as the Centre to use his keen intellect to solve any puzzle and to assume any profession, a skill he uses to learn the truth about his past when he escapes captivity. Hunted by Centre operative Miss Parker (Andrea Parker) and his former teacher Sydney (Patrick Bauchau), Jarod travels the country capturing criminals and helping those in need.
Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker, Patrick Bauchau, Jon Gries, Ryan Merriman, Richard Marcus, Alex Wexo, James Denton, Harve Presnell, Paul Dillon, Pamela Gidley, Jason Brooks, Jeffrey Donovan
  • SEASON  1

Summary of Season 1 (1996) - 7 discs

Child prodigy Jarod Russell was kidnapped and raised at a facility called "The Centre," where he was trained to assume the identities of doctors, lawyers and police officers -- anyone that was required. Over time, however, Jarod discovered that his chameleon-like impersonations were not always being used for good, so he left. Now, the grown-up Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) searches for his parents while using his talents to help those in need.
Full Screen 1.33:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
TV-PG - This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this action series is packed with heart-pounding suspense. Storylines often deal with topics like murder, abduction, conspiracy theories, and corruption, and sometimes it's hard to tell whether a character's intentions are good or bad. The main character remains steadfast in his efforts to help those around him, despite the fact that he's being tracked by people bent on forcing him back into the exploitation he escaped. The show's violence and subject matter ensure that it isn't for little kids, and its changing nature (each episode introduces a new storyline and cast of supporting characters) makes the subject matter unpredictable -- so parents may want to preview a few episodes before letting tweens tune in.

Sexual Content

Themes sometimes touch on things like extramarital affairs and illegitimate pregnancies.


Depending on the subject matter, there's potential for fistfights and confrontations with guns, knives, and other weapons. Characters are occasionally shown dying; photos depict corpses with gunshot wounds. Plot topics touch on murder and suicide.


"Hell" and "damn" are used infrequently; in the syndicated version of the show, words like "bastard" and even "panties" (in the context of "don't get your panties in a wad") are bleeped.

Social Behavior

The main character devotes his life to helping acquaintances resolve past wrongs -- even when it puts his life in danger. But the series includes a lot of iffy behavior -- like theft, dishonesty, murder, and suicide. The lone recurring female character is a no-nonsense leader, but she often shows her temper's short fuse.


Rarely, products like Cracker Jacks get air time.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The main female character often smokes, and others sometimes join in.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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