Shark

Common Sense Media says

James Woods is bright spot in mature legal drama.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main character has iffy ethical standards, but is good at heart. Some racial and gender diversity -- mayor is Latino, freshman prosecutors are multi-ethnic, and Stark's boss is female.

Violence

Scenes of bloody, murdered body and a blood-splattered murderer. Graphic recounting of violent acts.

Sex

Some brief sex scenes, but no private parts revealed. Some discussion of sexual affairs.

Language

Slightly more adult than other network legal dramas -- "a--hole," etc.

Consumerism

No obvious product placement, but Stark drives a flashy sports car and lives in a super-spiffy house.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this legal drama details criminal cases involving murder, rape, violence, and sex. Scenes have involved a woman's bloody body and an Internet sex video that features sexual noises and some skin. The main character is portrayed as good-at-heart, but not above some immoral and unethical practices.

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Kids say

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What's the story?

Big-screen regular James Woods (Ghosts of Missippi, Virgin Suicides) moves to the tube in the legal drama SHARK. He stars as Sebastian Stark, a former high-profile defense attorney who switches over to the district attorney's office after one of his cases goes horribly wrong. Charismatic and cocky, Stark is put in charge of a small team of freshman prosecutors. He uses his box of defense attorney tricks to teach the young lawyers how to dazzle the jury and wrap up cases with a slam dunk. Jeri Ryan (Boston Public) co-stars as Jessica Devlin, Stark's former adversary and current boss. Stark's underlings are a diverse, well-dressed bunch who hang on his every word. The exception is Sarah Carter, who plays Madeline Poe, a volunteer prosecutor who wows Stark with her brains and ambition while alienating the other lawyers with her aloofness.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Without Woods, Shark would be just another formulaic legal drama. But his acting chops are sharp and his presence strong. While work consumes much of Stark's life, he also has a 16-year-old daughter to care for. Though the show's writers may be aiming for a Veronica Mars-type father-daughter relationship, this duo has none of the quirky sweetness of that twosome. Instead, the wise-beyond-her-years Julie Stark (Danielle Panabaker) speaks to her father with a tone of pity, a sentiment that seems ill-fitting for the showy, loud-mouthed lawyer.

Shark is clearly an adult drama. The cases profiled in each show are sometimes gory and always entail a criminal act, some of which have sexual elements. And while Stark is a generally likeable guy, he uses tactics some would consider unethical -- and he's a realist rather than a true believer in justice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of justice. Is it better to lose ethically or win unethically? Do the means always justify the end? If you were in trouble, would you want a lawyer like Stark to help you?

TV details

Cast:James Woods, Jeri Ryan, Samuel Page
Network:CBS
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Shark was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bygenaburchette April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

THE BEST SHOW...............

This show combines crime with the angst of bringing up a teenager alone. i love each episode more than the next!

Kid, 11 years old Written byjennyjentry April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I LOVE SHARK (52yrs old)

Shark was a wonderful show, I have seen that it is on the cancel list for next season, with its time slot I am surprised anyone saw it, what a wonderfullly interesting show with a great cast, totally unexpected plot shifts and a great chemistry, they really need to bring this back next year

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