Boston's Finest

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Boston's Finest TV Poster Image
Unscripted, gritty series has great role models for teens.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series shows clear consequences for criminal behavior and shows law enforcement in a positive light. That said, there's a gritty overtone to most episodes that suggests danger is always right around the corner.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All officers take their duties to uphold the law and protect citizens extremely seriously. The men and women featured represent a variety of races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, although women are clearly outnumbered on the force.


Weapons are pulled often (mostly by law enforcement officials) along with some fistfights and other physical altercations, but blood is kept to a minimum.


Lots of swearing, but stronger words ("s--t," "f--k," etc.) are bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many crimes are alcohol- and drug-related, mostly marijuana and crack/cocaine. Some social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Boston's Finest is an unscripted series that doesn't shy away from the realities of being a police officer in one of the country's largest cities. That means you'll see officers brandishing weapons, getting physical with suspects, and confiscating illegal drugs, and hear conversations peppered with strong (but bleeped) language. On the plus side, there are clear consequences to the criminals' bad behavior, and the officers serve as excellent role models for both boys and girls.

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What's the story?

The unscripted docuseries BOSTON'S FINEST follows the men and women of the Boston Police Department through daily duties to serve and protect the people of one of America's oldest cities. Centering on select members of the department's fugitive unit, gang unit, SWAT team, and patrol squad, the series shadows the officers on the job and also sheds light on their personal lives.

Is it any good?

Executive produced by Donnie Wahlberg (who plays a detective on the New York City-set cop drama Blue Bloods), Boston's Finest is as much about paying homage to the people who protect Wahlberg's hometown as it is about entertainment. And that's perfectly fine, considering the men and women profiled are well-deserving of our attention and respect -- and make great role models for impressionable young viewers. These are real heroes making real sacrifices to ensure the safety of a city they love.

True, most officers use a lot of (bleeped) salty language. But by offering a look at their professional and personal lives, Boston's Finest makes it easy to forgive those infractions in favor of appreciating the risks they take and the challenges they face every day. It's not appointment TV by any means, but it's a well-made series with positive messages that makes a sincere impression.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how an unscripted series like Boston's Finest compares to scripted shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, and Southland. Do televised dramas overdo it when it comes to the danger and violence real officers deal with on the job?

  • Why does law enforcement tend to be a male-dominated profession? Why don't more women train to become police officers? Does gender really matter when it comes to catching criminals?

  • How real does this series feel to you? Does any of the action seem manufactured? If so, how can you tell?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Themes & Topics

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