Agent X

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Agent X TV Poster Image
Hammy action series can't decide if it's serious or silly.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Constant threats spring from a variety of sources, but the overall tone suggests that good will win out over evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters do everything in their power to save innocent lives and protect the people of the United States, even if that means getting to the "bad guys" first. As part of the job, they're forced to keep secrets, but they do so for the greater good.

Violence

Violent action sequences include shootings, stabbings, beatings, explosions, and physical combat with some visible blood; pacing is fast and often intense.

Sex

Sexual activity is suggested with kissing, skimpy lingerie, or bare skin (and a lot of innuendo) but rarely simulated.

Language

Mainly words such as "hell" and "damn," but sometimes words such as "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking; some secondary characters smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Agent X is a fast-paced action-drama that shadows a secretive government operative assigned to help the vice president on perilous covert missions. Most combat sequences are fast and furious, with shootings, stabbings, explosions, and bare-hands brawling that result in death or bloody injuries. There's some sexual tension, too, though sexual activity is mostly suggested (instead of simulated) with kissing, innuendo, and skimpy lingerie. You'll also hear "hell" and "damn" along with the occasional "s--t" and see some characters drinking socially and smoking cigarettes.

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What's the story?

Soon after being sworn in, freshly minted Vice President Natalie Maccabee (Sharon Stone) discovers a hidden provision in the U.S. Constitution that grants her the power to protect the country by any means necessary. But her top-secret arsenal includes only two people: clandestine operative John Case (Jeff Hephner), who acts on her command as AGENT X, and Chief Stewart Malcolm Millar (Gerald McRaney), who serves as her sole adviser.

Is it any good?

Though it aims for big-screen intensity and even boasts some big-name stars, this slightly silly National Treasure/James Bond mash-up never feels like more than small-time entertainment. But if you can get past the ridiculous premise, excuse the hokey dialogue, and simply enjoy it for what it is, Agent X is a surprisingly entertaining ride. The question is, how aware is Agent X of its own absurdity? Because, for the most part, it doesn't seem like it wants to be taken seriously.

You might assume Agent X has comic-book roots (much like Marvel's Agent Carter), but you'd be wrong; it's an original story, and the titular character has nothing to do with the Marvel mercenary of the same name. Still, the tone here is so often comic (in spite of the show's otherwise serious subject matter) that it's not hard to imagine these characters hamming their way through a hand-drawn serial, a realm where some of the show's more laughable one-liners would make a lot more sense.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Agent X's premise and how it plays off the belief that the vice president is a ceremonial figurehead with no real responsibilities. How plausible is the show's plot, and does it matter? What real-life secrets do you think the government might be keeping?

  • How would you describe Agent X's tone? Is it straight-laced or slightly comic? How seriously does it take itself, and how can you tell?

  • How do the central characters measure up as role models? Do the elements of secrecy and deception in their work take away from the good deeds they're doing?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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