A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The impact of crime is far-reaching and tragic in multiple ways. Racism and class are major themes.
Positive Role Models
Whether a victim or an alleged criminal, no one is perfect.
Violence & Scariness
Murder, sexual assault, gang activity, and stealing are central to the story. Beatings and shootings shown; bloody wounds visible.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Prostitution is referenced. Sex acts briefly detailed. A woman is shown in her underwear. Words such as "slut" used.
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"Bitch" is frequent; "hell," "ass," "crap." "S--t" muted.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drug use/dealing (marijuana, meth, and so on) visible. Drinking (beer) also shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that American Crime is a mature series that explores the aftermath of a violent crime from multiple points of view. Families are both brought together and torn apart as the town of Modesto, California, tries to find out who murdered war veteran Matt Skokie. The tone is bleak and subject matter dark; bloody wounds and scantily clad characters are visible, and there is discussion of sexual activity and violent acts. The language is strong ("bitch," "crap"; muted curses), and a main plot point hinges on illegal drug use. It's intelligent and complex, certainly pushing the envelope for network television, but may be too intense for younger teens.
Is It Any Good?
Written and produced by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley, the series explores the complexity and pervasiveness of crime in America from multiple points of view. It also highlights the many socioeconomic and racial tensions that emerge when a brutal crime is committed in a community.
People who like crime dramas will appreciate the intensity of this well-written series as well as the various plot twists that reveal themselves as each character finds ways to manage grief and fears in flawed -- but very human -- ways. It also unapologetically shows how seemingly minor crimes can be far-reaching and can lead to events that can destroy the lives of many. This drama packs a lot of issues into one show but doesn't feel preachy. It's also aided by powerhouse actors such as Huffman and Hutton, putting it on par with quality cable counterparts such as Breaking Bad -- and although its dark content can be difficult to watch, it's worth it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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