Boston's Finest

Common Sense Media says

Unscripted, gritty series has great role models for teens.





What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable

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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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.

Families can talk 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

Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Great boy role models, Great girl role models
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Boston's Finest was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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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; OK 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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