Big Shots

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Big Shots TV Poster Image
Clichéd alpha males juggle jobs, women, life.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

One of the four main characters seems generally principled. The others have affairs, lie to their wives, sleep with prostitutes, and are generally obnoxious. Female characters fit very specific stereotypes of virtue and immorality.


Rare, but one man dies when hit by a golf cart.


Sex scenes are sometimes quite graphic, despite the fact that there's no nudity. Women appear in bras and panties. Euphemistic references to oral sex and intercourse.


Occasional "ass," "hell," etc.


The main characters are all wealthy, and it shows.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent drinking, often in response to stress.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this drama paints life from a stereotypically masculine perspective. Women are largely absent, but when they're around, they're extreme examples of virtue and immorality. Sex scenes are common, and though no nudity occurs (aside from bra-and-panty shots), some scenes are quite explicit. One main character has an ongoing legal problem with a transvestite prostitute, while another is having an illicit affair with his wife's new best friend. The men also drink frequently, often in response to stressful situations.

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What's the story?

So many TV dramas are told from a mostly female perspective. From Desperate Housewives to Grey's Anatomy, the ladies take center stage. But BIG SHOTS is all about the men. At least a certain kind of man -- or, more precisely, someone's version of a certain kind of man. Four alpha male CEOs cavort about in their professional and personal lives, which often intersect. They drink, they have sex, they lie to their wives, and they hang out at fancy health clubs and restaurants, offering a man's version of support to one another -- teasing, avoiding, insulting, etc.

Is it any good?

Is this really how men behave? If so, it's a sorry state of affairs. The men in this show are clearly unhappy with their lives and seem to hate women, yet they feel inexplicably drawn to the fairer sex as if doomed to live in perpetual torment.

For example, Brody Johns (Christopher Titus), a crisis management expert, nearly loses his mind trying to meet his wife's requests -- but instead of communicating with her in a real way, he constantly assures her that everything's OK ... while complaining about her to his friends. Meanwhile, Duncan Collinsworth (Dylan McDermott), the head of a cosmetics corporation, is a cocksure ladies' man who's bitter toward marriage after several divorces. He gets into trouble with a hooker, which could threaten his career. And Karl Mixworthy (Joshua Malina) struggles to balance his wife and his mistress, who are new best friends. Finally, there's James Walker (Michael Vartan), a newly minted CEO who's freshly single. He's the most authentic character in the group -- the one with heart -- who the others merely bounce off of for comic relief. It's his journey through a divorce, in a powerful new job, and with a possible love interest at the office, that guides the series on its manly path.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how men are portrayed in movies and TV shows. Do male characters in the media tend to fit into certain types? What are those types, and how do you think they're defined? How do male characters in the media affect how we think of real men in our own lives? What kind of TV show would the males in your family be on? What roles would they play?

TV details

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